KARACHI: The Sindh Health Department today (Tuesday) confirmed detecting 35 cases of the coronavirus Delta variant, earlier referred to as the Indian variant, in Karachi since the month of June.
“From June till now, 35 verified cases of the Delta variant have been found in selected COVID positive samples. The individuals who were carrying this variant showed extreme symptoms of the virus,” Provincial Minister for Health and Population Welfare Dr Azra Pechuho in a statement said.
Five members of the same family in Karachi’s Lyari neighbourhood were found to have the Delta variant, the statement added. At present, all five are under treatment. In July, 18 cases of the Delta variant have been detected.
Considering the highly contagious nature of the variant, Pechuho urged the public to limit their movement and follow precautionary measures, including wearing masks in public places. “The effects the Delta variant had in India are before us; the public will have to show responsibility,” she added.
“Always wear a mask when outdoors or in public places. Citizens must exercise caution and act responsibly,” Azra Pechuho concluded. The 35 Delta variant cases have been detected through genome sequencing performed on confirmed infections of Covid-19.
Earlier it was reported that about 16 cases of the Indian COVID variant surfaced in Balochistan. “Eleven cases of the virus are reported from Quetta, while five from Turbat,” said Balochistan Health Secretary Aziz Jamali on July 12.
Karachi’s coronavirus positivity ratio exceeds 14%
A day ago, the COVID-19 positivity ratio in the metropolis was recorded at 14.58% — a development that prompted the Sindh Health Department to suggest closing down primary schools, banning indoor dining and closing marriage halls to contain the virus.
A total of 5,967 tests were conducted as of Monday, out of which 870 people were confirmed to be infected with the novel coronavirus.
According to a health department spokesperson, the rate of positive cases of coronavirus in Hyderabad was recorded at 3.99%, while the ratio was 1.79% in other districts of Sindh.
COVID situation in Pakistan
Pakistan’s daily coronavirus caseload dropped slightly for the second consecutive day after the country reported 1,590 new cases on Tuesday morning.
The daily case count had been on an upward trend since July 7, but the country recorded a slight drop a day earlier and the downward trend continued today.
Another 21 people died of coronavirus in Pakistan in the last 24 hours, pushing the national death tally since the pandemic started to 22,618.