PMA raises alarm over two new COVID variants

Workers at Beijing crematoriums say they are overwhelmed as China faces a surge in Covid cases that authorities warn could hit its underdeveloped rural hinterland during upcoming public holidays. AFP
  • PMA says 2 new COVID variants are on the rise in different countries. 
  • Says Pakistan is safe but govt should be more vigilant. 
  • PMA suggests preventive measures against new COVID variants. 

LAHORE: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) voiced concerns over the spread of two new variants of COVID-19 — Gryphon (Omicron XBB) and BF.7 — the sub-lineage of the Omicron variant in China, India, Bangladesh, Japan, the US, Australia and Denmark. 

PMA (Centre) Secretary General Dr Abdul Ghafoor Shoro, in a statement on Saturday, said, “Although corona situation in the country is under control and positivity ratio of COVID-19 is 0.5% but due to detection of new variants in some countries, government should become more vigilant and take all the required preventive measures to avoid spread of new variants in the country.” 

PMA suggests the government implement strict preventive measures at airports and all other border entries. There should be mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for international as well as domestic travel. Passengers with symptoms should be isolated and their PCR tests should be carried out.

The PMA urges the public to be prepared and even at this stage, to follow Corona SOPs, to wear a mask every time they go out, to regularly wash or sanitize their hands, and to avoid touching their eyes, noses and mouths.

According to the association, people should maintain social distance and avoid large gatherings. They should avoid shaking hands or hugging, the PMA said.

The PMA also suggested that people avoid sneezing and coughing openly and that they should cover their coughs and sneezes with their arms rather than their hands.

They should not share your paraphernalia, such as a glass, plate, cup, towel, mobile, pen, etc, according to the PMA. “We also suggest that if you are not vaccinated then immediately get vaccinated and get booster dose after six months of your second dose,” he added.

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