At least 30 suspected cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus were reported in Balochistan’s Kalat district during a diagnostic process, said provincial health officials on Wednesday.

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), however, has not yet confirmed any cases of the strain in the district.

Balochistan Coronavirus Operation Cell in-charge Dr Naqeebullah Niazi told a news channel that the suspected cases surfaced in the last two days.

He said that the samples taken from the patients are being sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad for confirmation.

The Balochistan health department has written a letter to the Kalat district health officer, directing him to identify the suspected patients and put them in isolation.

Moreover, doctors have also been told to be careful.

Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo expressed concerns over the reported 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) had 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.


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