Using genome analysis, the Aga Khan University (AKU) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad have established that XBB, a sub-variant of the Omicron variation and one of the three prevalent strains of Covid-19 in China, is present in the nation.
The Omicron sub-variants XBB and XBB-1 were found in Karachi on Tuesday, the Sindh Health Department reportedly revealed.
The health authorities reported six cases of the novel Covid-19 variants, XBB and XBB-1, had been found in Karachi.
In response to an increase in new variant instances in various parts of the world, the Border Health Services of Pakistan last month issued a directive to authorities at all international airports to guarantee strict enforcement of the Covid screening of incoming travellers.
The department urged tight oversight of all airport travellers entering Pakistan from other countries in a letter sent on December 28.
In the meantime, the NIH emphasised in a public statement that no cases of Omicron’s sub-variant BF.7 have been found in Pakistan to date. It is evident from the 29 points of XBB (Omicron) that this is not the BF.7 strain that is circulating in the neighbouring country of Pakistan.
The representative clarified that the rumours that were going around about the new Covid variation were untrue because the variant that was being reported in some parts of the country was XBB, an older variety of Omicron.
Omicron BF.7 variant
Observations show that BF.7 is less virulent but more contagious than other sub-variants of Omicron. A substantially decreased incidence of hospitalisation and severe COVID is associated with BF.7 infection. However, people over the age of sixty who also have diabetes, renal illness, high blood pressure, or other concomitant conditions may also experience severe BF.7 infection.
Health professionals claim that BF.7 is a sub-lineage of the main, worldwide circulating Omicron strain of the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus. Its neutralising resistance is 4.4 times greater than that of the original D614G version.