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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiative Asad Umar on Sunday said that clear evidence of the beginning of another Covid-19 wave in the country was now apparent.
“Genome sequencing showing rising proportion of omicron cases particularly in Karachi,” the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Chief wrote on his official Twitter handle.
Clear evidence now of a beginning of another covid wave which has been expected for last few weeks. Genome sequencing showing rising proportion of omicron cases particularly in karachi. Remember : wearing a mask is your best protection
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) January 2, 2022
The planning minister urged people to wear masks, adding that it was their “best protection”. Umar’s tweet comes a few days after the National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed 75 cases of the Omicron strain of Covid-19 across the country.
“The first case of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 was reported on December 13 in Karachi. As of December 27, 2021, a total of 75 Omicron cases have been confirmed – 33 in Karachi, 17 in Islamabad and 13 in Lahore,” read an official statement.
A day earlier, the local government imposed a 15-day micro-smart lockdown in Karachi’s District East after the emergence of at least 12 cases of Omicron variant in the area.
According to a notification issued by the deputy commissioner’s office, the lockdown was imposed in Gulshan-e-Iqbal’s Block 7 area and other hotspots on the report of the district health officers.
According to experts, Omicron spreads four times faster than the Delta variant which overwhelmed the health system of India and other countries in 2021. The World Health Organization has warned that with an increased growth rate Omicron can overwhelm health systems.