- Faisal says we cannot control the new variant from coming to Pakistan, but we can control its impact by ramping up the immunisation process
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan has said that no case of Omicron Covid-19 variant has been detected in Pakistan so far, it was reported on Tuesday.
Talking to a private news channel, Sultan said: "We cannot control the Omicron variant from coming to Pakistan, but we can control its impact by ramping up the immunisation process."
"Our priority is those who have not been vaccinated at all," he added.
“With more people immunised, we can control the impact. I urge people to get vaccinated and follow SOPs."
He mentioned that the guidelines and policies regarding the vaccination will be finalised in a meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).
Earlier, the Sindh government decided to make booster jabs mandatory to curb the spread of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant that has recently been detected in South Africa.
Health Secretary Zulfiqar Ali Shah said that it has been decided to make the booster dose mandatory across the province because of the new variant.
He said that the Pfizer vaccine will be administered as a booster jab. “The booster dose is being given only in Jinnah Hospital and DOW Ojha Hospital but it will be provided to the entire province and no charges will be taken for the booster jab," the health secretary said.
On Saturday, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar announced that a notification has been issued to restrict travel from six southern African nations and Hong Kong after the emergence of a new heavily-mutated Covid-19 variant, Omicron, which was identified in South Africa earlier this week.
In a Twitter post, Asad said: "The emergence of new variant makes it even more urgent to vaccinate all eligible citizens 12 years and older."
The southern African countries include South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) also classified the new Covid-19 variant as a "highly transmissible" virus of concern and named it Omicron under its Greek-letter system.
The panel said early evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection.
As the new of the new virus spread, several countries imposed travel restrictions to contain its spread. The 27-nation European Union (EU) imposed a temporary ban on air travel from southern Africa, and stocks tumbled in Asia, Europe and the US.
The United Kingdom also banned flights from South Africa, announcing that anyone who had recently arrived from those countries would be asked to take a coronavirus test.