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Pakistan reports four cases of new COVID-19 variant

Byusanewscart.com

Jan 8, 2024

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After genome sequencing, affected persons found to be infected with JN.1 sub-variant

An airport official checks the temperature of a passenger upon her arrival at the Bacha Khan International Airport in Peshawar on January 27, 2020. — AFP
An airport official checks the temperature of a passenger upon her arrival at the Bacha Khan International Airport in Peshawar on January 27, 2020. — AFP
  • JN.1 sub-variant declared Variant of Interest.
  • Health minister says there is no need to panic.
  • People requested to adopt preventive measures, use masks.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has reported four cases of JN.1, a sub-variant of Omicron variant of COVID-19, on Sunday night, The News reported.

The health authorities confirmed the detection of a highly contagious variant saying that the four affected people, who entered the country from abroad, had mild symptoms and they recovered from the illness on their own.

An official of the National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHS,R&C) said the affected persons tested positive for COVID-19 and when genome sequencing was done, they were found to be infected with JN.1 sub-variant.

The JN.1 sub-variant of the Omicron has been declared as a Variant of Interest (VoI) by the World Health Organisation and it is rapidly replacing other Omicron sub-variants around the globe.

The health authorities in Pakistan started mandatory testing of 2% of the inbound passengers for COVID-19 a couple of days back and started sending the samples for genome sequencing to detect JN.1 sub-variant following the detection of the deadly sub-variant in neighbouring India and other countries of the world.

Commenting on the detection of the JN.1 sub-variant, caretaker Federal Health Minister Dr Nadeem Jan said there was no need to panic as 90% of the Pakistani population was vaccinated against COVID-19, adding that that border health services authorities were vigilant and active as per international health regulations.

“People should adopt preventive measures and use masks, wash hands frequently with soap or use hand sanitisers and adopt social distancing to prevent themselves from flu and other respiratory illnesses including COVID-19,” he added.

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