Sindh to test all passengers that arrived from South Africa during last week


A healthcare worker administering COVID-19 vaccine. File photo
A healthcare worker administering COVID-19 vaccine. File photo

KARACHI: The Sindh Health Department has decided to conduct tests of all passengers who have returned from South Africa during the last seven days to counter the Omicron threat, it emerged Thursday.

The health department has requested the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to share data of passengers.

According to details, all those who came in contact with them will also be tested and genome sequencing will be done to ascertain whether they are infected with the new COVID-19 variant or not.

Health authorities have warned that it is impossible to prevent Omicron from coming to Pakistan. However, through preventive measures, the variant’s arrival and spread can be delayed.

To counter the Omicron threat, the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) has adopted a “zero tolerance” policy and launched a massive vaccination programme.

Under the plan, booster shots will be given to immunocompromised people, healthcare workers and those aged over 50 years.

The NCOC has also agreed to take strict measures regarding the obligatory vaccination regime. It was decided that the vaccination teams should be deployed at various public spots to vaccinate the individuals on the spot.

NCOC guidelines for booster shots:

  1. Booster dose will be administered to three age groups including healthcare workers, over 50 years of age and immunocompromised groups from 1st December.
  2. Booster dose will be administered after six months of administration of the last dose.
  3. Administration will be on a voluntary basis and will be free of charge. Selection of vaccine will be as per Individual choice/availability.
  4. In case of COVID positive case, booster dose will be administered after 28 days.
  5. Information be disseminated to all CVCs / MVTs accordingly.

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