Worried with new Covid variants, KP to acquire latest sequencing machine

KP Covid variants

The KP health department wants to acquire latest machine to be installed to retest Covid-19 positive samples and detect emerging Indian and other variants.  

Earlier, KP health department expressed interest to install the latest machine that would help to detect the new variants of Covid-19, which also spread rapidly than the local type and is not detectable in local laboratories. Indian and other strains have been found to be very infective and severe than the locally prevalent virus.

According to the health department report, five cases of Covid-19 variants of India, United Kingdom and South Africa origins have been detected as two more persons passed away due to coronavirus and 153 new cases were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday. It said that provincial tally of deaths and cases was 4,348 and 139,008 respectively.

Read more: NCOC confirms presence of Alpha, Beta, and Delta variants in Pakistan

“We have detected three cases of Delta (UK), one each of South Africa (N501Y) and India (Delta) in the seven positive samples of patients sent to National Institute of Health Islamabad,” health officials said.

“The situation is not good as these viruses have also higher mortality, hospitalisation and virility. All those tested positive for the new variants of Covid-19 belong to Peshawar. They have been quarantined,” said the health officials.

“The health department has already recommended closure of Pakistan-Afghanistan border due to presence of India variant of Covid-19. The Afghans travel to India frequently and they can transmit the virus to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which is home to thousands of Afghans,” they said.

“We are already in the process of purchasing a latest machine for sequencing of the Covid-19 viruses following the detection of eight cases within one month because NIH is looking after the whole country due to which the results are made available very late. Once we install the new technology, we would be testing five positive Covid-19 samples from all 20 laboratories in the province,” they said.

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