The National Institute of Health (NIH) has confirmed the presence of the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant amongst two individuals who had visited the United Kingdom. This is in follow up to the preliminary reports of the existence of this variant, which have now been confirmed via whole-genome sequencing.

Since the emergence of the new coronavirus variant in the UK, which was reported in December 2020, the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination has made compulsory for all inbound passengers from the UK to be tested for SARS-CoV-2 on arrival.

It is also to be noted that the variant virus reported in the UK has also been detected in 31 other countries so far. The preliminary epidemiologic and clinical findings suggest that the B.1.1.7 variant virus may have higher transmissibility – but without any evidence of increased severity of illness.

In the last 24 hours, 1,895 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan while 39 lost their lives, according to the latest statistics released by the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC).

As of January 4, the total active COVID-19 cases in Pakistan stand at 35,722. Yesterday, 30,139 tests were conducted with Sindh conducting 11,473; Punjab: 10,073; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 5,104; Islamabad: 2,560; Balochistan: 485; Gilgit-Baltistan: 188 and Azad Kashmir: 256

Out of 1,756 ventilators reserved for COVID-19 patients in the country, 308 vents are currently occupied. There is no patient on the vent in AJK, GB and Balochistan.

A total of 488,529 cases have been detected so far in the country (AJK 8357, Balochistan 18247, GB 4867, ICT 38263, KPK 59484, Punjab 140714 and Sindh 218,597).

Till now, Pakistan has recorded 10,350 deaths. Punjab is on top of the list with 4124 casualties followed by Sindh 3611, KPK: 1675; Islamabad: 428; Balochistan: 185; GB: 101 and AJK: 226.

626 hospitals in Pakistan are equipped with COVID-19 facilities with 2,747 patients being treated.


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