Karachi: The Agha Khan University Hospital (AKUH) and National Institute Of Health (NIH) Monday confirmed it have detected Pakistan’s first ever case of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in a patient through gene-sequencing.
“Gene sequencing at AKUH has confirmed the presence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in the first patient,” reads the statement from the AKUH. “The patient is at home and doing well. So far, no other patients with COVID-19 Omicron have been identified at AKUH,” it added.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) also confirmed the development via a series of tweets on Twitter as well.
“The NIH has been able to confirm (via whole genome sequencing) that a recently suspected sample from Karachi is indeed the ‘Omicron variant’ of SARS-CoV2,” it tweeted.
“This is the first confirmed case but continued surveillance of suspected samples is in place to identify the trends.”
NIH stressed on the importance of getting vaccinated to stay protected from existing and new coronavirus variants.
On December 9, Pakistan reported its first suspected case of the variant. However, Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho had clarified that a genomic study would confirm whether it is the Omicron variant of the virus or not.