Pakistan at risk of encountering new Covid variant from China

China’s decision to dismantle its “zero-Covid” regime has put Pakistan at risk of encountering a new Covid-19 variant, as the neighbouring country lifted its lockdown and travel curbs, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said on Saturday, the media reported.

The NCOC said that the new variant may enter Pakistan after the ease in the coronavirus-related restrictions in China, which went through an abrupt shift in policies, The News reported.

The country loosened its rules to curb the increasing Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began three years ago after protests broke out against its tough restrictions, The News reported.

But officials from the NCOC said that Pakistan is fully prepared to control the new variant. They said that the country has dealt with the Covid variants in the past in a timely manner.

They said that there is a low risk due to the Covid-19 vaccine, adding that the vaccination of 90 per cent of the eligible population in Pakistan has been completed.

The officials also said that about 95 per cent of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, The News reported.

Meanwhile, a person suffering from Covid-19 during the last 24 hours and 13 tested positive for the disease, the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) data showed on Saturday.

About 4,403 people underwent diagnostic tests for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, while 17 patients are in critical care.

On December 9, Pakistan reported another death due to the virus.

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