Pakistan, Cuba report first Omicron Covid variant cases

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Dec 09, 2021, 12:49 PM IST

Morning News Brief Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

Pakistan detected its first case from Karachi. The patient is a 57-year-old woman who is unvaccinated.  

Pakistan has recorded its first “suspected” case of Omicron variant of COVID-19, the health authorities informed on Thursday.

The patient is a 57-year-old woman from Karachi city who is unvaccinated. The infected woman had been admitted for treatment at Aga Khan University Hospital. 

The authorities have said that the patient has no travel history, reports Geo News.

The health officials said that the patient has not been showing any symptoms of the virus and has been sent home to isolate. 

“We have not yet conducted a genome study but the way the virus is behaving, it seems likely that it is the Omicron variant,” said Sindh health minister Azra Pechuho in a video statement. 

"Omicron is very transmissible but deaths or serious [conditions] have not been seen in recent reports coming from South Africa (where the variant was first detected). There is no cause for concern. We are conducting a genomic study which will take one or two weeks,” she added.

After South Africa reported its first Omicron case to the World Health Organisation, the Pakistan government on November 27 placed a complete ban on travel from six south African countries — South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia — and Hong Kong in the wake of the variant's discovery.

This travel ban was later extended to nine more countries — Croatia, Hungary, Netherlands, Ukraine, Ireland, Slovenia, Vietnam, Poland and Zimbabwe.

Apart from that, Cuba also reported its first Omicron case. The patient is a health worker and had recently travelled recently from Mozambique.

Cuban health officials identified 18 people the traveller may have been in contact with since arriving in Cuba, but all were asymptomatic and had tested negative for the virus, reports Reuters.

(With inputs from agencies)