Sindh has reported possible cases of a new coronavirus variant JN-1

KARACHI: The Sindh Health Department has confirmed two suspected cases of the new JN-1 coronavirus variant in the province, raising concerns about a possible link to the highly contagious JN.1 variant.
The individuals, aged 50 to 60, were identified during screenings upon their arrival in Karachi on separate days from Bangkok and Jeddah.
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Rapid antigen tests confirmed their COVID-19 positivity despite their flu-like symptoms. To determine the specific variant, samples were sent to a local university lab for detailed analysis.
Despite the new strain’s contagious nature, both passengers were allowed to travel to their hometowns of Dera Ghazi Khan and Sanghar under quarantine conditions.
To prevent further spread, health officials emphasize the importance of quarantining infected individuals. Concerns were raised about the low screening percentage (2%) of passengers using rapid antigen tests, with the Sindh Health Department highlighting the lack of National Command and Operation Center directives regarding quarantine facilities.
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JN-1, a new coronavirus variant that has been identified as one of the fastest-spreading coronavirus variants, has caused an increase in cases in the United States. Screening protocols have been mandated at all international airports in Pakistan in response to the global increase in COVID-19 cases.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued immediate orders to screen 2% of international flight passengers. Following NCOC directives, this screening will gradually be implemented at major airports across the country. Furthermore, the CAA has mandated daily fumigation of passenger lounges and directed airport personnel to work with Border Health Services officials.
These steps are consistent with global efforts to manage and mitigate the effects of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.