Federal Minister Asad Umar has confirmed that the third wave of Covid-19 has started in Pakistan and attributed the rising number of cases to the virus' UK strain.
"Yes, there is no doubt that the third wave has started and basically, the phenomena that's driving it is the spread of the UK strain," Umar said while talking to a private news channel on Thursday evening.
When asked whether a third wave of the virus has started with the surge in the cases, Umar said that the uptick in cases was witnessed in districts where a large portion of the Pakistan British community lives.
"We then asked NIH to carry out genome sequencing, after which it became evident in northern Pakistan, including Islamabad," said Umar, who also heads the country nerve centre for Covid-19 response.
Later, he added, sequencing was carried out across the country. "[We reached the conclusion that] the dominant strain right now is the UK strain."
Umar added that one thing that was established about the strain earlier was that it transmitted relatively easily as compared to the original strain that spread from Wuhan, China.
"Also, according to today's report, the mortality ratio of the strain is also high, posing a greater threat."
As per our statistics, from March [last year] when the first casualty surfaced until the beginning of 2021, the fatality rate indicated a clear, sustained increase in the cases.
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"We had suspected at that time also that the spread is due to the UK strain, and now research has also proven it."
"This is a really dangerous situation developing as of now and the same is happening in other parts of the region, including Bangladesh."
Earlier today, it was reported that Pakistan's Covid tally crosses the 600,000 mark with 2,701 fresh cases. There are a total of 566,492 recoveries from the disease, while the number of deaths total 13,377.
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