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New Covid strain: Pakistan reports first 3 confirmed cases

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The health authorities took 12 Covid samples of the UK returnees, out of which six were positive and three showed the new variant of the Covid-19 virus

The new coronavirus variant which first emerged in the UK has been detected in Pakistan, Dawn reported on Tuesday.

According to a Sindh Health Department statement, the health authorities took 12 Covid samples of the UK returnees, out of which six were positive and three showed the new variant of the Covid-19 virus in the first phase.

On Monday, Pakistan extended the ban on flights from the UK for another week over fears of a new variant of the coronavirus which is reportedly spreading at a much faster rate.

Initially the ban was imposed last week at the recommendation of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) and it was to stay until the midnight of December 29.

The restrictions introduced through the previous communique are still in place. Pakistani passport holders who have travelled to the UK on visitor/temporary visas will be allowed to return to the country but will have to show a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, conducted within 72 hours prior to flight, according to the restrictions.

The passengers will also take a PCR test on arrival in Pakistan under arrangement with the Directorate of Central Health Establishment or regional health staff and will stay inside the airport or in a government facility until the PCR test is taken.

They will observe a mandatory enforced home quarantine for seven days. The trace and test apply to all passengers arriving from the UK.

With inputs from PTI