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Delta variant affecting Pakistan’s Covid-19 trajectory: Faisal Sultan

Covid-19 variants, specially the Delta variant, are adversely affecting the downward trajectory of coronavirus cases in Pakistan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said.

“We have shown a lack of care as well but side-by-side, the effect of new virus variants, especially the Delta variant, is appearing in our epidemic,” he said in a press conference Monday.

Last week, the National Command and Operation Centre reported 15 cases of the Delta variant in the country. The virus strain originated in India.

To control its spread, it is necessary to bring compliance with coronavirus SOPs issued by the government, Sultan pointed out. He appealed to the nation to wear masks in public spaces and avoid crowds and gatherings.

“We think there are controls and restrictions needed on mobility as well,” the special assistant said, adding that big cities have been instructed to use smart lockdowns again.

Vaccination will be mandatory for tourism and this requirement will be “strictly enforced” during the upcoming Eidul Azha holidays.

Sultan stressed the importance of vaccination against the deadly virus. “Around 450,000 vaccines doses were administered yesterday and an additional six million doses are coming.”

Innoculation is the only way to protect our population from the deadly virus, he added.

Fourth wave

Earlier this week, NCOC chief Asad Umar warned that the early signs of a fourth coronavirus wave have started showing.

“Two weeks back I had tweeted that our artificial intelligence models are showing possible emergence of a fourth wave. Now there are clear early signs of the fourth wave starting,” he said.

Poor SOP compliance, the spread of variants, including the Delta variant, are the main causes for the rise in cases. The minister has warned that if the owners of these facilities do not show responsibility and ensure compliance, there will be no choice but to shut them down.

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