PESHAWAR: At least two people who recently traveled to Pakistan from the United Kingdom have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while reports of 25 others are awaited.
KP Health Secretary Imtiaz Hussain Shah told Geo News that a total of 149 passengers recently arrived in the province from the UK – 44 out of whom have been traced along with 32 of their contact.
Another 54 passengers have been identified across seven districts including Peshawar, Swabi and Nowshera, and the district administration has been directed to trace them.
The government has been unable to trace 46 people because they provided incorrect residential address. Shah said four people tested negative in the first round of testing.
The two COVID-19 patients were identified in Peshawar and Abbottabad and are currently under quarantine. Shah said further tests will be conducted at the National Institute of Health in Islamabad which will determine the nature of the strain.
Although the new strain, referred to by some experts as B.1.1.7 lineage, is not the first variant of the coronavirus pandemic but its is said to be up to 70 per cent more transmissible.
After the British government officially announced detection of the mutation, many countries, including Pakistan, have imposed travel bans on the UK.
Pakistan updates travel restrictions
Pakistan announced its updated standard operating procedures (SOPs) for travel restrictions imposed on inbound travelers from the United Kingdom, after cases of a highly new infectious strain of the coronavirus rose across the European country.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced Tuesday that Pakistani passport holders who have been issued the Business, Visitor or Transit visas by British authorities can return to the country provided they show a negative PCR test.
The test, however, must have been taken 72 hours prior to the start of their travel to Pakistan, said the aviation authority.