California variant of Covid now in Pakistan

A medical worker prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Rawalpindi, Punjab Province, Pakistan.

New Delhi, (Asian independent) Pakistan health authorities have announced that another variant of the deadly Covid virus had managed to reach Pakistan, Dawn reported.

Member Scientific Task Force on Covid-19 Dr Javed Akram said a virulent variant of Covid-19 called ‘Epsilon’ had been detected.

“This variant had originated in California, which was why it was called the California strain or B.1.429,” Dr Akram said, adding that it later reached the UK and other European countries.

“Now we have been receiving cases in Pakistan,” he said, adding that so far five variants and seven mutations of Epsilon had been reported which made it more infectious, the report said.

“We need to understand that the virus has been controlled but not eradicated, therefore, there are chances of it bouncing back,” the task force member said.

Replying to a question, Dr Akram, who is also the vice chancellor of the University of Health Sciences, said around 40 patients had been confirmed in Pakistan having the strain through gene sequencing, but this was not an accurate figure. “Gene sequencing has not been done on every patient,” he added.

Dr Akram said the positive side was that all vaccines were effective against Epsilon, therefore people should get immunised and adhere to the standard operating procedures.

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