Sindh Health Minister Azra Pacheco has said that in addition to the UK variant that has gripped Karachi, the South African variant, also known as B.1.351 that is highly contagious, has been detected in the port city.
According to the minister, the health department inspected 22 coronavirus samples, out of which the UK variant was detected in 18, while the South African variant was found in two cases.
Experts fear that the B.1.351 variant could be resistant to existing vaccines and treatment. According to Al Jazeera, the South African variant, also known as B.1.351, was first discovered late last year. It has since been detected in dozens of countries around the world.
It contains two mutations that have raised concerns that it could be more infectious than previous strains of the virus and could be able to evade some of the antibody response caused by vaccines or previous infections.
‘BAN ON INTERCITY TRANSPORT’
The Sindh minister claimed that despite a request by the Sindh government, the federal government didn’t quarantine passengers coming from the United Kingdom. She added that the government feared that the UK variant has infected a lot of people in the port city.
She said that in order to contain the cases, the government will ban intercity transport from tomorrow. She also urged people to follow SOPs, wear masks, and maintain social distancing.