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Islamabad has reported three more Omicron cases, taking the total number to 20, Aaj News reported on Wednesday.

The capital had reported its first case on December 25. In a tweet, the district health officer (DHO) Dr Zaeem Zia had said that the case was detected in a 47-year-old male, adding that he was working in Islamabad and had travelled to Karachi for work-related purposes.

“The patient had no history of travelling abroad”, he added.

He said the variant was confirmed as Omicron following its gene-sequencing, adding that 10 contacts of the patient were traced and subsequently isolated/ quarantined.

Islamabad reports first Omicron case

“Amid the looming threats of Omicron variant, our health teams are prepared to respond as they did in previous waves/ variants, diligently,” he added.

On Tuesday, the NIH has said that so far, 75 Omicron cases have been confirmed in Pakistan. In its report, the NIH said that 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.

75 Omicron cases reported in Pakistan so far: NIH

“Vaccination and SOPs (standard operating procedures) continue to be our best defence against Covid-19 despite the mutations being reported. All government-approved Covid-19 vaccines available in Pakistan remain highly effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalisation," the statement said.

Meanwhile, as per NCOC data, 348 Covid-19 cases and six deaths were reported across the country over the past 24 hours. The national positivity rate was recorded at 0.87%, while there are 636 critical patients.

Omicron risk remains 'very high': WHO

In a statement on Wednesday, World Health Organization said that the risk posed by the Omicron variant is still "very high".

Omicron is behind rapid virus spikes in several countries, including those where it has already overtaken the previously-dominant Delta variant, WHO said in its Covid-19 weekly epidemiological update.

"The overall risk related to the new variant of concern Omicron remains very high," the UN health agency said.