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Pakistan reports cases of Alpha, Beta, and Delta variants

The positivity rate stands at 2.22%

SAMAA | and - Posted: Jul 6, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
Posted: Jul 6, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago

Photo credits: afp

The Alpha (UK), Beta (African) and Delta (Indian) variants have the highest spreading rate as compare to the local variants in the country.

A local variant was detected too and it had reportedly mutated during the second wave and became more aggressive in nature.

Pakistan reported 25 new deaths and 830 cases in the last 24 hours. There are more than 30,000 active cases in Pakistan and among them, 74 are critical patients. The positivity rate has been recorded at 2.2%.

“We are admitting more critical cases these days,” a doctor working at a Covid ward told SAMAA Digital. The patients we admit these days require an aggressive approach with regard to oxygen support, he added. “The use of non-invasive masks such as c-paps and bi-paps have increased overall in hospitalised Covid patients,” he said.

In Pakistan, cases of the virus were reported from China and Iran, while 10% of cases were linked to Western Europe circulation. The new wave is spreading more rapidly and cases are linked to the Alpha variant.

Delta variant

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently deemed the Delta variant, which originated in India, the “most transmissible of the variants identified so far”.

Some of India’s immediate neighbours such as Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka experienced a surge in infectivity rate from May 2021, according to the WHO.

The highly-contagious Delta variant is causing a surge in new Covid-19 cases even in countries with high vaccination rates — and experts warn that immunisation campaigns are in a race against time to contain it.

Globally, the pandemic is still slowing down, with the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting the lowest number of new cases worldwide since February and decreasing deaths attributed to the coronavirus.

The Delta variant of the coronavirus, previously known as the Indian variant, has spread to more than 70 countries. It was first detected in India, in December 2020. It is highly transmissible and appears to make COVID-19 more severe. 

The emergence of this variant “is a serious cloud on the horizon”, says Bill Hanage, an associate professor at Harvard Chan School of Public Health. “Delta is bad; even if we don’t know exactly how bad; recent work has pegged it at maybe 40% more transmissible than the variant we’ve been dealing with until recently.” 

The variant appears to cause alarmingly severe symptoms, such as: 

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hearing loss
  • Joint pain

Four confirmed cases of a coronavirus variant first identified in India have been reported in Sindh, Parliamentary Secretary on Health Qasim Soomro revealed May 31.

“All the patients have been quarantined in Karachi and contact tracing has begun,” he said on SAMAA TV programme Naya Din. “They came back to Pakistan from multiple Gulf countries and tested positive at the airport.” Soomro confirmed that the patients were doing fine.

Alpha and Beta variants

The rise in COVID-19 infections and deaths during the third wave is most likely due to the spread of the Alpha and Beta variants in Pakistan, a new study has revealed

The study was based on the results of gene sequencing and was conducted by the National Institute of Virology at the University of Karachi.

“Dr Panjwani Center reports a steep rise in the UK and South African variants in Pakistan,” said Professor Dr M Iqbal Choudhary, director of the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences.

“The situation may slip out of control if immediate measures are not taken to address the looming disaster.”

The study revealed that around 50% of the new infections are of the Alpha variants, while 25% are Beta variants.

“There should be public awareness about these variants,” said Dr Tipu Sultan, the former president of the Pakistan Medical Council.

He also mentioned a three-point strategy to prevent contracting the deadly variants:

  • Following the recommended SOPs
  • Getting vaccinated
  • Media awareness

These pointers will help Pakistan in handling the rising cases of the different variants.

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