The National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed on Tuesday that 75 cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus have been reported in the country so far, Aaj News reported.
According to an NIH report, Karachi has the highest number of confirmed Omicron cases, 33, followed by Islamabad, 17, and Lahore 13. Meanwhile, cases have also been reported in Balochistan's Kalat district. The report mentioned that only 12 of the confirmed patients had international travel history. The authorities have started tracing their contacts. Meanwhile, patients have been quarantined at their homes.
Pakistan reported its first suspected case of the Omicron variant on December 8. Following its gene-sequencing, Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi confirmed it as the new variant on Dec 13.
On December 20, Pakistan approved coronavirus booster jabs for people aged 30 and above amid fears of the new Omicron variant.
During its daily meeting on Covid-19, the National Command and Operation (NCOC) decided that eligible citizens can get their doses from January 1. They will be administered Sinopharm, Sinovac, and Pfizer as booster jabs. The doses will be administered free of cost.
Earlier, the NCOC had approved booster shots of coronavirus vaccines for healthcare workers, immunocompromised people, and those aged over 50 years. The meeting decided that the shots would be free and administered six months after the last vaccine dose.
So far, the country has administered 151,951,087 doses of the Covid-19 vaccines.
The story was originally published in Business Recorder on December 28 2021.