Pakistan on Friday reported its first confirmed case of the Indian variant — a mutation first identified in India.

The case was detected by the National Institute of Health after whole genome-sequencing of SARS CoV-2 samples collected during first three weeks of May.

“The sequencing results confirmed [the] detection of seven cases of B.1.351 (South African variant) and one case of B.1.617.2 (Indian variant),” the statement issued by the NIH said.

On May 22, a member of India’s diplomatic staff had tested positive for coronavirus at Wagah Border after the health authorities tested the delegation for COVID-19 at the border crossing. The person who tested positive is wife of a member of the Indian diplomatic staff, sources had said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also declared the coronavirus variant identified in India last year as a variant of global concern, with some preliminary studies showing that it spreads more easily.

“We are classifying this as a variant of concern at a global level,” Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO technical lead on COVID-19 had told a briefing in Geneva. “There is some available information to suggest increased transmissibility.”


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