Tuesday July 05, 2022

Alarm bells ringing as Pakistan’s Omicron tally surges over 370

Most of the cases have been reported in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, says Dr Faisal Sultan

January 03, 2022
Pakistan has reported 372 cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus so far. Photo-AFP
Pakistan has reported 372 cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus so far. Photo-AFP 

ISLAMABAD: Alarm bells are ringing for Pakistan as the country has reported 372 cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus so far, showed the data issued by the  Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination.

As per the details, the country confirmed its first case of the highly-transmissible variant on December 13 from its most populous city, Karachi. Three weeks later, the new variant of the virus has spread to major cities of the country.

Talking to, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan confirmed that a total of 372 infections of the variant have been recorded so far. Most of the cases have been reported from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

“It [Omicron] is now in most large countries, and forms an ever-increasing proportion amongst the cases detected,” said Sultan.

On November 26, the World Health Organisation (WHO) designated the Omicron "a variant of concern". Later, in a press briefing, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the WHO, told reporters that the Omicron is spreading at a rate in the world not seen with any previous variant.

“We’re concerned that people are dismissing Omicron as mild. Surely, we have learned by now that we underestimate this virus at our peril,” he added.

As per a tally by the New York Times, the variant has already spread to 110 countries around the world. In fact, a month after it was identified, it became the most dominant variant in circulation in the United States.

In the last few days, Pakistan has also seen a gradual uptick in the coronavirus caseload, as on Sunday it recorded 708 new cases, the highest in over two months. On the day, during a press conference, federal minister Asad Umar also warned that there were “clear signs of a new wave” of the virus surging in the country.

Separately, Dr Sultan has tweeted about an “unmistakable upward trend” in the positivity rate of the country in the last six days.

Pakistan has, to date, recorded 1,297,235 coronavirus cases and 28,943 deaths.