A health care worker prepares coronavirus tests in a lab at a COVID drive-thru testing center at Bergen Community College, as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Paramus, New Jersey, U.S., December 3, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid - RC2XFK9F4BOY

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health department on Wednesday confirmed first case of Omicron variant of coronavirus in the province.

A health department spokesperson said that the Omicron variant was detected in sample of a Covid-19 patient from Manshera. The patient is said to be a resident of Rawalpindi. The official said that they have setup contact tracing teams.

Besides, he said that they have also setup teams to increase the vaccination in the district.

On the other hand, KP minister for health Taimur Saleem Jhagra also confirmed the province’s first Omicron case.

Our public health reference lab has detected the first cases of Omicron in Pakhtunkhwa,” Mr Jhagra wrote on Twitter. He said that as expected, this was only a matter of time. “Our hospital system has coped with four surges and will continue to be ready. Our best defence is to vaccinate as per NCOC guidelines,” he added.

Omicron variant of the Covid-19 was first detected in South Africa earlier in December last year. The variant has reached more than 40 countries including Pakistan.

In Pakistan, Karachi has reported highest number of Omicron variant.

National Command and Operation Center head and federal minister for planning Asad Umar said that Omicron variant impact was most visible in Karachi. He said that Sindh recorded 160 per cent increase in Covid-19 cases over past two weeks. However, he said that in the same period Karachi witnessed a 960 per cent increase.

Mr Umar told a press conference that vaccination was most important shield against the Omicron variant.

He also urged the public to wear masks and avoid going to crowded places.

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