ISLAMABAD: The Brazilian and South African variants of Covid-19 have been detected in Pakistan, a spokesperson for the National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed on Saturday.
He said both strains were found in samples the NIH received for testing, raising fears that these variants with a higher mortality rate could put a strain on the country’s already overwhelmed health facilities.
The spokesperson said they were continuously monitoring different Covid variants. “The national health ministry and the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) have their eyes on various strains of the virus,” he added.
Stressing that following SOPs is the first line of defence, the spokesperson urged people to adhere to health guidelines, including wearing masks and social distancing, to keep the deadly disease at bay.
Earlier, Sindh Health Minister Dr. Azra Pechuhu said in a video message that at least 10 British, two South African, and one Brazilian virus variants have been detected in Karachi. “The Brazilian and South African strains of the virus have a higher mortality rate, and the efficacy of the vaccine is not that significant against them,” Pechuhu said.