Wednesday Dec 22, 2021
QUETTA: At least 32 suspected cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 were reported in Balochistan's Kalat district during a vaccination and diagnostic process, a provincial health department official confirmed to Geo News Wednesday.
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), however, has not yet confirmed any cases of the strain in the district.
Kalat District Health Officer (DHO) Nasrullah Lango confirmed the number of reported suspected cases, saying that the samples taken from the suspected patients have been sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad for confirmation.
He said that all the suspected Omicron variant patients are from Kalat and none of them has a travel history.
The DHO said that the suspected patients include a woman who recently delivered a baby.
He further stated that the condition of the said patients is stable and they have been quarantined at their homes.
Balochistan Coronavirus Operation Cell in-charge Dr Naqeebullah Niazi told Geo News that the suspected cases surfaced in the last two days.
The Balochistan health department had written a letter to the Kalat DHO, directing him to identify the suspected patients and put them in isolation, the health official said. Moreover, doctors have also been told to be careful.
According to the officials, over 400 samples had been collected from Kalat for testing from December 1 to 18.
Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo expressed concerns over the suspected presence of the Omicron variant in Kalat and sought a report from the health department.
Pakistan has so far reported one confirmed and another suspected case of Omicron, apart from the latest suspected cases from Kalat.
The Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), on December 13, had confirmed it had detected Pakistan's first-ever case of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in a patient — who had no travel history — through gene-sequencing.
A second case of the Omicron variant of coronavirus had been reported from Karachi, sources within the Sindh Health Department had said later in the week.