Pakistan has reported its first “suspected” case of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant in a woman in Karachi, Dawn news reported citing the Sindh Health Minister as saying on Thursday.
According to the the provincial Health Minister Azra Fazal Pechuho, the genomic study of the he 57-year-old coronavirus patient’s sample had not been conducted but “the way the virus is behaving, it seems like it is Omicron”
“Omicron is very transmissible but deaths or serious (conditions) have not been seen in recent reports coming from South Africa (where the variant was first detected). There is no cause for concern. We are conducting a genomic study which will take one or two weeks,” Dawn news quoted the Minister as further saying in a video message.
Pechuho’s statement came hours after her spokesperson Mehar Khursheed confirmed the detection of the first Omicron case in a woman from Karachi, the Dawn news report said.
She said the infected woman was unvaccinated and had been admitted for treatment at Aga Khan University Hospital, .
According to a letter written by the district health officer of Karachi’s East district to the provincial director general of health, the Regional Disease Surveillance and Response Unit in the metropolis “reported the first case of new Covid-19 ‘Omicron’ variant on December 8, 2021, at 7 p.m.”.
The letter, a copy of which is available with Dawn news, stated that the woman, who was 65 years of age, was unvaccinated and did not have a travel history. She was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday and was isolating at home.
According to the notification, the rapid response team was “taken on board immediately” for tracing, testing, quarantining, vaccination and other preventive measures to control the infection’s spread as per the guidelines of the National Command and Operation Centre.
Two of the woman’s contacts, who also tested positive for the coronavirus but do not have the Omicron variant, are admitted to the Aga Khan University Hospital, the notification added.
The deputy commissioner of the district has also been requested to take the necessary action micro smart lockdown according to the notification.