The new COVID-19 variant, which was first found in the United Kingdom and now has started transmitting to other countries as well, is called B117. Some mutations have been detected in genetic code of this variant and some of the variations can, to some extent, change spike protein of the virus, which aids it to infect cells.
These changes in the infection reportedly allow it to spread with about 70 percent extra speed than its predecessor.
The new strain of the disease has reached Pakistan as well, as the Sindh health department reported that three cases of the new variant were found in the province.
In an exclusive interview with Dialogue Pakistan, Chief Executive Officer of Indus Hospital, Dr Abdul Bari Khan spoke about the new variant of Covid-19 and its vaccine.
“The main thing about the new variant is that it is more contagious and it spreads rapidly, however its severity could not be determined yet. The good thing is that the new variant can be detected through the same test and can be cured through the same available vaccine,” he said.
Dr Abdul Bari said that the positivity rate of the viral infection had climbed to 22 percent in Karachi, but it has decreased a bit by the time. “Two months of carefulness can lead to lessening the spread of the virus,” he said.
“The government of Pakistan is fully trying to acquire the new Chinese vaccine and to make it accessible for the public by January 2021,” he said.
Dr Bari further spoke that the capacity of the renowned hospitals of Karachi had reached to its full. Therefore, it’s mandatory to follow the SOPs strictly or else we will regret, he said.
Moreover, he said, Indus Hospital was planning to build its branch in Lahore, comprising 150 beds by the start of June 2021.