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Pakistan resumes thermal screening at airports amid fears of Covid BF.7 variant

ISLAMABAD – Pakistani authorities have tightened monitoring of inbound passengers at all airports to avoid the spread of a mutated Covid variant found in China and other countries.

Officials put stern measures as Beijing eased Covid restrictions, including scrapping quarantine rules for travelers, which may spark global spread.

Amid the alarming spread of the virus in China,  the federal health authorities have beefed up surveillance systems at all entry points and started monitoring incoming passengers with thermal scanners.

The Border Health Services of Pakistan has directed officials at all international airports to maintain a heightened level of awareness and alert for the rapid identification, detection and isolation of any potential cases to prevent further transmission as a part of effective control and prevention measures.

Officials have also been told to conduct the rapid antigen test (RAT) of the suspected passengers.

In a statement, an official of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination said that the spread of the mutated Covid variant BF.7 was causing concerns, and additional measures had been taken to curb its spread.

Pakistan was ready to make an emergency plan to deal with any sub-variant of the contagious virus, he said maintaining that efficient system with a proper management team is fully functional.

Officials also continued genome sequencing at laboratories in parts of the country to trace the new variant and to adjust any remedial measures.

The latest data from the top health body reveals that at least 26 new cases were reported during the last 24 hours in Pakistan. The case positivity ratio remained below 1 percent, and no death was reported from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours.

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