The National Health Ministry has confirmed on Monday that the Pakistan has not yet reported a new “Indian strain” of the coronavirus – a “double-mutant” variant – considered to be responsible for a recent spike in infections in India.
Syed Sajid Shah, a spokesperson for the ministry, told reporters on Monday that the country is still “safe” from the Indian variant. Cases of the UK variant of the virus, however, are being reported, he added.
Pakistan has already banned land and air travel from India, citing concerns about the spread of the latest coronavirus variant.
The two South Asian nuclear rivals have been grappling with a devastating Covid-19 wave, while the situation in Pakistan has been considered relatively better compared to India, where hospitals are reportedly running out of beds and oxygen supplies.
Pakistan has also offered Covid-19 support to India in a gesture of solidarity.
“As a gesture of solidarity with the people of India in the wake of the current wave of Covid-19, Pakistan has offered to provide relief support to India including ventilators, Bi PAP, digital X-ray machines, PPEs (Personal protective equipments) and related items,” a statement from the Foreign Office said
On Monday, India set a new record globally by registering over 350,000 cases in a single day.
A day earlier, New Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that the lockdown will be extended for another week.
He said the current oxygen demand is 700 tons, but they are only receiving 330 to 335 tons per day.
Pakistan reported nearly 5,000 infections and 70 deaths from Covid-19 on Monday, while health authorities warned of a situation similar to that in India if the cases continued to rise at the current rate in the coming weeks.