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Sindh Govt recommends testing inbound travelers from China fearing new Covid variant

Sindh Govt Recommends Testing Inbound Travelers From China Fearing New Covid Variant:

Sindh Govt Recommends Testing Inbound Travelers From China Fearing New Covid Variant

Karachi: The Sindh government on Thursday suggests the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) and National Institute of Health (NIH) to test travelers coming from China for Covid-19 at airports across the country.

The Sindh Health Department pointed out that Covid cases and mortalities were resurging in global proximities. And a new variant had also emerged.

Coronavirus cases surged recently in China due to a strain that is a sub-variant of the highly infectious Omicron variant: BF.7 or BA. In this view, it presented some recommendations and requested the NCOC to issue an advisory for people.

All the inbound passengers on flights from China wil be tested for Covid-19 at airports. In case of positive results, the person shall be quarantined until they become negative for contagion,” the provincial government suggested, adding that serology tests of confirmed positive cases should be carried out.

“A huge number of false negative cases of new Covid-19 variant are also being reported so any person showing symptoms similar to the virus should be isolated and tested on PCR for confirmation.”

The health department advised mandatory administration of Pfizer booster doses for people who got inoculated six months ago, especially those above the age of 65.

“Establishment of isolation centres for positive cases and those with symptoms but showing negative tests. They must undergo chest x-rays as a part of pneumonia investigation,” it added.

Other recommendations also included declaring Covid vaccination mandatory for both national and international travel, wearing masks in public, and avoiding mass gatherings.

Earlier today, NIH reported that 12 new cases were reported across Pakistan in the last 24 hours.

The case positivity ratio was 0.33pc, while 19 patients were in critical condition. No death was reported from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours while 3,583 tests were conducted.

On Wednesday, the state-run APP reported that the government had placed surveillance systems at entry points across the country to monitor incoming passengers in the wake of the new variant.

It said that instructions had been issued to the concerned authorities to ensure that people, coming from other countries, go through thermal scanners at airports across Pakistan.

While Beijing has provided only limited information to global databases about variants circulating in China, the official said, and its testing and reporting on new cases have diminished.

Hospitals across China have been overwhelmed by an explosion of infections following Beijing’s decision to lift strict rules that had largely kept the virus at bay but tanked the economy and sparked widespread protests.

Meanwhile, the United States has joined a growing number of countries in imposing restrictions on visitors from China after Beijing announced it would remove curbs on overseas travel as Covid cases surge at home.

The US move came after Italy, Japan, India and Malaysia announced their own measures in a bid to avoid importing new variants from China.

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Zahra Sikandar
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