Health authorities in Pakjab (Pakistani Punjab) which is bearing the brunt of Chinese Wuhan Corona Virus deaths and new infections, have detected a “New variant” of Chinese Corona virus “which is yet to be named”. It should be called Pakjab variant based on the location where it is discovered as in case of other variants where they were found. In the meanwhile, a genomic study carried out by Aga Khan University has shown presence of the UK-variant in 10 samples while the South Africa and Brazil variants (of Chinese Wuhan Corona Virus) were detected in two samples.
New variant of Chinese Corona virus which is yet to be named, detected in Pakitani Punjab
As reported in Pakistani news media, In Pakjab (Pakistani Punjab), the virus may be local mutation and the health experts and the researchers have joined heads to expand the scope of investigation as they believe that the Pakjabi new variant of Chinese Corona virus which is yet to be named may have high infectivity rate than the previous ones and may ‘lead the province to a new epidemic’ if not curtailed timely.
In a related disturbing development, Punjab continues to investigate the gene-sequencing of the variant and its relevance with existing or previous circulations.
As per health officials in Pakistan, “Punjab got first time evidences of presence of South African virus in the province not long ago”.
He said the South African variant of the coronavirus contained a number of mutations known to be different in nature.
Sharing further details, the official said recently a top health body of United Kingdom (UK) – Public Health England (PHE) – had alerted Islamabad that two Pakistani citizens came from Faisalabad and Sialkot were carrying African virus. He said this development had raised eyebrows of the health experts working on the latest research and sent an alarm about emerging challenges.
Following the UK’s alert, the researchers and health experts joined heads in Pakistani Punjab to launch an exhaustive work to compile the initial findings/study. The study was carried out at two reference labs where the prime objective of the experts was to find out reasons/factors behind recent massive circulation of the infection.
He said that the number of various variants of Chinese Corona viruses in Punjab reached three after the detection of South African variant as reported by the UK’s top health body.
Out of the total infections in Punjab, the official said, the UK variant was found in most patients in the start of the third wave. He said Punjab’s virologists are investigating whether this new mutation is prime reason behind ongoing sudden surge in mortality and new infections.
The virus, the official confided, could be a mutated form of different variants. Data collection of Pathogenicity and lethality is under way.
In Pakistan, first two waves had Corona virus of Iranian and Chinese origin with 10 per cent cases linked to Western Europe circulation. The current third spike is fast and mostly cases were linked to UK variant.
The official said the detection of another new variant of Chinese Corona virus had posed serious threats.
“Unless some final findings are shared we have to observe extreme caution,” the official said.
“We can’t give any name to this variant unless the National Institute of Health (NIH) regional reference lab completes investigations,” the official said. He said the experts/virologists working at a teaching hospital lab had intimated the NIH about the novel variant after the samples results could not match with those already present in Punjab.
The initial study report was also being uploaded on the national and international website in order to make it public for further analysis and investigations, he said.
Karachi detected 3 different strains of Chinese Corona Virus.
As per another report, A genomic study carried out by Aga Khan University has shown presence of the UK-variant in 10 samples while the South Africa and Brazil variants of Chinese Wuhan Corona Virus were detected in two samples. The detection of both South African and Brazilian variants in Karachi has raised fears of putting a further strain on its already overwhelmed health system, according to the health minister of Sindh province.
Dr Azra Pechuhu, the health minister of the southern Sindh province, said in a video message on Friday that at least 10 British, two South African, and one Brazilian virus variants have been detected in the country’s commercial capital Karachi, reported Anadolu Agency.
“The Brazilian and South African strains of the virus have a higher mortality rate, and the efficacy of the vaccine is not that significant against them,” Pechuhu said.
The minister added that those infected by these virus strains could fall “very ill” despite being vaccinated.
Karachi is currently one of the epicentres of the devastating third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan.
Fearing a further burden on hospitals that are already struggling to cope with the growing number of COVID-19 patients, she said the spread and mortality rates of these variants are “very high.”
As per some unverified sources, the spread of virus is seen near the Chinese settlements in Pakistan because Chinese are the ones that travel in and out of Pakistan and do not adhere to any guidelines or rules. However their claims could not be verified.
Despite Karachi contributing maximum towards Pakistan’s GDP, the city has seen no investment in Hospitals or medical infrastructure. No new Oxygen plants have been set up in Karachi nor provisions of essential medicines including Remdesivir have been made considering the total population of Karachi is 16.1 million. Moreover bankrupt Pakistan does not have foreign exchange to immediately procure emergency supplies of essential medicines and Sindhi and Mohajirs in Karachi also fear that all the supplies will be cornered by Pakjabis while Sindhis and Mohajirs will be left to die by the Pakjabi Pakistan.
Shortage of Oxygen and Essential Medicines
As per a news published in Pakistani Media, Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid said on Sunday 2-May 2021 that almost all ventilators in Gujranwala were occupied while the occupancy rate in Lahore was 81.5 per cent, adding however, that the health department was making efforts to shore up facilities.
Moving on to other cities, the health minister said the ventilator occupancy rate in Multan stood at 88pc, followed by Sargodha at 80pc, Bahawalpur at 52pc, Dera Ghazi Khan at 39pc and Faisalabad at 38pc.
She clarified that there was no problem in meeting the province’s oxygen demands. “Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology generates its own oxygen to fulfil its need. The cabinet committee has given us permission to get oxygen generators for the future,” she said, adding that the procurement process for teaching hospitals had already started.
“Hundred percent of oxygen produced by us at the Pakistan Oxygen Limited is being supplied to the healthcare facilities due to multifold increase in its demand after surge in COVID-19 cases. If cases continue to rise, hospitals may face shortage of oxygen as we are producing at our maximum capacity,” an official of the Pakistan Oxygen Limited, an oxygen producing company said.
Dr. Shahzad Ali Khan, Dean of Health Services Academy maintained that if the number of patients requiring oxygen rises due to increase in number of COVID-19 patients in southern parts of the country, especially Karachi and Hyderabad, it could put extra burden over the oxygen producing capacity of the companies and urged people to take precautionary measures in this scenario.
There were five oxygen producing companies in Pakistan including Multan Chemicals Limited, POL, Ghani Gasses, Shareef Gasses Limited and Sultan Gasses Limited and and all are producing oxygen at their maximum capacity.
Attempts are being made to import Oxygen from China.
Pakistan is also getting 3 different types of vaccines but all from China. People in Pakistan were reluctant to get vaccinated by Chinese Vaccines. However seeing the media news spread by leftist Liberal media, such news has created panic in Pakistan and people are rushing to get vaccinated.
People are afraid that anything they import from China, it adds to their huge external debt and China will not give anything free of cost.
Soldiers are now patrolling streets and markets in more than a dozen cities, telling people to keep wearing masks and making sure mandatory closing times and other safety protocols are followed. Only essential food items and medicines may be sold after 6 p.m.
The approach of the Eid al-Fitr holiday next month, when people typically do more shopping and socializing, has raised concerns.
The government has urged caution and simpler festivities this year. Travel between cities and between provinces will be banned from May 8 until May 16, and hotels, public parks and tourist facilities will be closed.
Discrimination against Pashtuns in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
While in other cities, the police and soldiers are just telling people to keep wearing masks, City traffic police in Peshawar city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, imposed fines on 29,370 people for violating the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) and not wearing face mask in the past one month.
People are asking – Why only Peshawar? Why such challans are not being conducted at such large scale in Pakistani Punjab? Is it only to punish Pashtuns who have been open in their criticism of Pakjabi Government?
In Lakki Marwat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the district administration sealed three plazas over violation of Covid SOPs in Tank city.
News originating about Challans and sealing of shops and plazas are coming only from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and none of the news about such challans or sealing of shops or plazas have been reported from any of the Punjabi cities. People are very angry with the discriminations against Pashtuns by the Pakjabi Pakistan.
However no hospitals, medical facilities or Oxygen plants have been setup in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In the meanwhile Office of the Medical Superintendent DHQ Hospital Nowshera has issued a rate chart for medical treatment in Government Hospitals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
Seeing the above rate chart, one can clearly assume that such exorbitant rates are to keep Pashtuns away from getting treatment in Pakistani Government hospitals. Isolation (with Oxygen Supply is PKR Rs 30,000/- + taxes is the lowest package per day. It only includes the bed + Oxygen supply and does not include any medicines or any tests.
One of the social media user Kamran Malik replied to one such query and told that the rate in Lahore is PKR 100,000 per day and he paid PKR 160,000 for one of his friend in a private hospital in Lahore.
Similarly the cost of treatment is exorbitant in Balochistan as well as in Sindhudesh as well with nothing free even in Government hospitals.
People fear that in case the new Pakjabi virus spreads to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or Pakistan occupied Balochistan or Sindhudesh, people will be left to die without oxygen and essential medical supplies and because of the gag order on Media, no news of deaths in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or Balochistan will be reported by the MSM or the International News Media.
Points to Ponder
While people died in India, many of Pakistani social media laughed and abused Indians. What if the karma returns to Pakistan and they get into the same situation? Which country would come to the help of Punjabi Pakistan?
It is time Pakistan be dismantled into smaller free an independent countries of Balochistan, Sindhudesh, Pashtunistan be formed who will be non-radicals and can self govern and have independent foreign policy and in the times of crisis like the present ones, they can manage themselves.
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