Pakistan has reported three cases of the new strain of coronavirus that first emerged in the United Kingdom, prompting countries to ban travel with the UK.
This new strain, called the B.1.17 lineage, may be 70% more infectious than the previous strain going around in the UK. According to the Sindh Health Department, three passengers who had arrived from the UK had been infected with this variant of the coronavirus.
The health department said it took samples of 12 people who had returned from the UK for genotyping, out of which six tested positive for the coronavirus. “Three showed the new variant for the COVID-19 in the first phase of testing,” said the statement of the department quoted by Geo News.
It said that the samples will be sent to the 2nd phase of genotyping. The health department has already begun tracing the people that these patients had come into contact with.
Last week, reports that a new strain of coronavirus, similar to the one wreaking havoc in the United Kingdom, had also surfaced in Karachi. Coronavirus Task Force head Dr Attaur Rehman had said that the authorities discovered a new strain of coronavirus in the port city that is similar to the one spreading in Europe.