Sindh’s Minister for Health Dr Azra Pechuho on Wednesday said that the highly infectious UK variant of coronavirus has reached Karachi.

In a sobering video message on Twitter, the health minister said that of the samples tested from patients in the city, 50% turned up positive for the British variant of the virus.

Pechuho said that the UK coronavirus variant “spreads very fast” and after having already spread in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, leading to the deaths and infections of numerous people, it has now reached Karachi.

“The samples tested during the genomic studies we carried out, revealed 50% of the cases to have the UK variant,” she said.

Dr Pechuho said that owing to it being the month of Ramadan and the Eid-ul-Fitr festival approaching, a lot of people were getting out for shopping. She said that at such a dangerous time when the UK variant is spreading, it is of the utmost importance that safety precautions be taken.

“Do follow SOPs and do not leave your homes unless absolutely necessary,” said the health minister.

She warned people to keep away from crowds, wash their hands with soaps frequently, wear masks, and maintain social distancing.

“This way you can protect yourself, your relatives and family and members of the community.”

Dr Pechuho encouraged people over 50 to walk in and get themselves vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19. “Our vaccination centres are open and remain open after iftar as well,” she said.

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