The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Covid-19 confirmed on Monday that two cases of the highly contagious coronavirus variant that first emerged in the UK have been detected in Pakistan.

It said the National Institute of Health (NIH) examined a number of samples taken from UK return travellers suspected to be carrying the new Covid-19 variant, out of which two matched with the variant, named B117.

The variant was first detected in Britain last month, the NCOC said, adding it has also been found in 31 other countries. It said Pakistani citizens returning from the UK need to take a mandatory PCR test for the new strain of the deadly virus.

Earlier, on December 29, the Sindh Health Department had confirmed that samples of three people returning from the UK showed a 95 per cent match with the new coronavirus variant in the first phase of genotyping.


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