Three cases of the coronavirus variants first identified in India and South Africa have been detected in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the provincial health secretary confirmed on Friday.
Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah said two patients had been diagnosed with the South African variant of the virus, while one was suffering from the Indian variant, which has been renamed Delta by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Shah said all three persons had recently returned from the United Arab Emirates and they belonged to Peshawar. The man suffering from the Delta strain is aged 41, while the other two diagnosed with the South African variant are 18 and 38, respectively.
The health secretary warned that the two coronavirus variants were dangerous and spread quickly, urging people to follow the Covid-19 SOPs to the core for their own safety.
Pakistan had reported its first confirmed case of the Delta variant on May 28.
The case was detected by the National Institute of Health which conducted whole-genome sequencing of SARS CoV-2 samples collected during the first three weeks of May 2021. Seven cases of the South African variant were also confirmed by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on May 28.
Next week, the NCOC released details of the first confirmed Pakistani case of the Indian variant, saying effective screening and quarantine for international travellers had prevented secondary infections of the variant.
In a statement, it was disclosed that according to details shared by the National Institute of Health (NIH), the variant was detected in an asymptomatic Pakistani individual aged 39 years who was a resident of Azad Kashmir and had returned from a Gulf country.