New COVID-19 variant ‘B1135’ reported in Karachi

KARACHI: Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho today (Thursday) has announced that a new coronavirus variant ‘B1135’ has been detected in Karachi along with the UK variant.

In a video statement issued by the Health Ministry, the provincial minister said out of 22 coronavirus infections that were investigated, the UK variant was confirmed in 18 cases, while the B1135 variant was confirmed in two cases.

Azra Pechuho regretted that despite launching a request with the government several times, the centre did not quarantine the passengers coming from the UK. She feared that the new variant can rapidly spread in Sindh, especially Karachi.

She added that inter-city bus services will be shut down from tomorrow in order to contain the outbreak. Urging the people to follow precautionary measures, she said people should be careful, wear masks and maintain social distance.

Pakistan’s coronavirus positivity ratio jumped to 9.6 percent on Thursday after the country reported over 5,000 new infections. Almost 5,480 people tested positive for the coronavirus, after 57,013 tests were conducted across the country.

The total tally of COVID-19 cases now stands at 815,711, with 281,385 cases and 4,629 deaths reported in Sindh so far.