PESHAWAR: Five of the 62 Pakistanis, who had arrived from Afghanistan, tested positive for the coronavirus in Mardan, a health official said on Tuesday.
Hundreds of Pakistanis had gone to Afghanistan to proceed to Saudi Arabia from Kabul Airport after Riyadh had cancelled flight operations from Pakistan due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, they had to come back to Pakistan despite heavy expenses after Saudi Arabia suspended flight operations from Afghanistan either due to the coronavirus pandemic or the deteriorating security situation in the country.
The government opened the Torkham border with Afghanistan for 24 hours to facilitate these Pakistanis to return home.
Upon their arrival from Kabul, these Pakistanis were first kept in a hospital in Landikotal and later sent to their native districts for their detailed corona investigation.
District Health Officer, Mardan, Dr Kachkol Khan told The News that 62 persons were kept at the District Headquarters Hospital and five of them tested positive for the coronavirus after screening.
“Five of them were quarantined after they tested positive for coronavirus while 57 others were sent home. We have also sent the samples to the National Institute of Health for sequencing or variant identification,” said Dr Kachkol Khan.
He added that they were likely to receive the reports today. “We need to be careful if someone among them tests positive for the delta variant and we have to follow all guidelines to prevent its further transmission,” said the DHO.
He added that the delta variant was quite virulent and had the capability of high transmission.
“Since it is a dangerous variant, we need to be vigilant and expect our community to cooperate with us to contain it,” Dr Kackhol Khan said.
The ones, who have tested positive, were vaccinated against the coronavirus, he added.
According to the district health officer, one person had got AstraZeneca vaccine and was issued a vaccination certificate but was diagnosed with the coronavirus.
“If it is detected that he has been suffering from the delta variant then it would be worrisome,” he added.
In KP, according to the Health Department, eight cases of delta variants have been reported so far.
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