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ISLAMABAD: Following the emergence of a new variant, JN-I, of Covid-19 globally, the government of Pakistan has decided to conduct Covid testing of passengers coming from abroad.

According to the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), the decision has been taken as a precautionary measure to save people from the possible outbreak of the new Covid variant.

The NCOC has also directed the provincial governments to enhance Covid-19 testing. The NCOC meeting discussed the situation in the country about the new variant of Covid, JN-1.

The forum was told that Pakistan has not reported a single case of the new Covid variant, so far. The forum okayed Covid testing at the airports and borders.

According to the NIH spokesperson, a new variant of corona, JN-I, and Omicron, has been reported in some countries as per media reports, which are a matter of concern.

The other day, the caretaker Federal Minister for National Health Services and Regulations, Dr Nadeem Jan, said that the government is continuously monitoring the situation as this subvirus of Omicron was found in some countries. He said that the risk of this variant spreading in Pakistan is very low, but caution is necessary.

Meanwhile, the provincial health departments, quoting emergence of JN-1 variant of Covid-19 in neighbouring countries have also directed the district authorities to conduct random Covid-19 tests of people suffering from influenza-like diseases.

According to a written communique addressed to all the district health officers (DHOs), the letter said “Considering the recent upswing in respiratory infections and worldwide dissemination of the novel JN-I variant of Covid-19 and in concordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) concern about the escalation in respiratory infections, there has been a noteworthy rise in cases on influenza-like illness (ILI) in countrywide recently. Moreover, neighbouring countries have documented JN-I variant of Covid-19, therefore, a proactive and vigilant approach is a must to deal with any situation”.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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