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First case of Omicron variant confirmed in Karachi

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Pakistan on Thursday reported the first case of Omicron variant of the coronavirus in Karachi.

According to Sindh Health Department, a private hospital in Karachi reported the first case of the variant in a female patient.

The health department disclosed that the patient had arrived in Pakistan from abroad, adding that they were verifying her travel history.

Meanwhile, sources have claimed that the woman has been discharged from the hospital two days earlier, while her two brothers have been admitted to the hospital over suspicion of the virus contraction.

The authorities are trying to trace the address of the woman, while the imposition of smart lockdown in the area is on the cards.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that so far 57 countries of the world have reported the new variant of the COVID-19 that was first detected in South Africa.

Earlier, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) had imposed a complete ban on inbound travel from Category C countries amid the threat of the spread of new Covid-19 Omicron variant to Pakistan.

The country’s top platform overseeing Covid response reviewed the prevailing Covid situation across the globe and revised the policy for categorisation of air travel and the Cat C list.

The Cat C countries include Croatia, Hungry, Netherlands, Ukraine, Ireland, Slovenia, Vietnam, Poland, South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Namibia.

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COAS, Saudi FM discuss matters of mutual interest, regional security

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Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa says the 17th extraordinary session of OIC is extremely important to channelize international efforts and save Afghanistan from looming security and humanitarian crises.

He was talking to Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud, who called on him in Rawalpindi.

Matters of mutual interest, regional security, current situation in Afghanistan and bilateral defence relations were discussed during the meeting.

The Army Chief also emphasized that peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute is essential for stability in South Asia.

He reiterated that Pakistan wants cordial ties with all its neighbors in pursuit of regional peace and prosperity.

The visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan’s role in Afghan situation, specially its efforts for border management and its role in regional stability.

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NIH confirms first case of Omicron in Pakistan

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The National Institute of Health (NIH) Pakistan on Monday confirmed the first case of Omicron variant of coronavirus.

“The NIH has been able to confirm (via whole genome sequencing) that a recently suspected sample from Karachi is indeed the ‘Omicron variant’ of SARS-CoV2,” said NIH Pakistan in a tweet.

“This is the first confirmed case but continued surveillance of suspected samples is in place to identify the trends.”

According to the NIH, “The importance of getting vaccinated to protect from serious effects of existing and new variants is therefore highlighted. Please get yourself vaccinated according to guidelines issued by the NCOC.”

On December 9, Pakistan had reported its first “suspected” case of the new coronavirus variant Omicron in a woman, 57, in Karachi.

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PM Imran Khan to visit Lahore today

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Prime Minister Imran Khan will reach Lahore on a day-long visit today (Wednesday). He is scheduled to chair important meetings during his stay in the provincial capital.

According to sources, the Prime Minister is scheduled to hold separate meetings with Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.

Chief Minister Usman Buzdar will brief the Prime Minister on important issues of the province. The Prime Minister will also address a ceremony in connection with Health Cards.

The Prime Minister will also meet the Vice Chancellors (VCs) and Principals of medical universities and colleges in Lahore. Key senior ministers will also meet PM Imran.

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