ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) fears spread of new variant of Covid, which is driving a huge surge in China, in Pakistan as travel restrictions between the neighbouring countries have been relaxed.

Authorities at the NCOC, the principal body governing the policies and implementation of the national Covid effort of Pakistan, said they had made preparations to tackle the spread of the Omicron sub-variant BF.7. They recalled that Pakistan had successfully controlled the spread of Covid variants in the past through effective implementation of the policies. They said 90 per cent of Pakistani population was fully vaccinated and it could slow the spread of the new virus.

Meanwhile, India has mandated a Covid negative test report for travellers arriving from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand, the health minister said on Saturday. Passengers from those countries would be put under quarantine if they showed symptoms of Covid or if tested positive, minister Mansukh Mandaviya said.

Chinese state media Qingdao Daily late on Friday cited a health official in eastern city of Qingdao as saying coronavirus was in rapid transmission stage in the city with 490,000-530,000 new daily infections, which was set to increase at a rate of 10% in the next couple of days.

Nearly 37 million people in China may have been infected with Covid-19 on a single day this week, Bloomberg News reported on Friday, citing estimates from the government s top health authority.


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