LAHORE: Punjab has reported first time 49 confirmed cases of Omicron variant of the coronavirus, with majority of them from Lahore.

An official said 48 confirmed cases of the new variant were reported from Lahore while only one from Bahawalpur.

He said the first patient of the new variant was tested positive from posh area of Gulberg. The 23-year-old patient of Omicron had a travel history from Sindh and it was suspected that he might have carried the virus from Karachi during his recent visit.

He said the health department dispatched teams to the house of the young man, obtained samples of his close relatives and other immediate contacts. The test reports later confirmed 12 people of his contacts, including his family members, patients of the Omicron.

Meanwhile, he said, the health department teams obtained some reports from laboratories which confirmed more such patients of the virus and so far 49 of them were tested positive for the new variant in Punjab.

Most of the cases were reported from Gulberg and Cantontment areas, the official said adding a high alert had been given to the departments concerned to face the new epidemic of the strain.

Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2022

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