Karachi, Dec 29 : Health authorities in Pakistan's Sindh province announced on Tuesday that the new coronavirus variant found in the UK has been identified in three samples taken from passengers who recently returned from Britain.
The Sindh Health Department took samples of 12 UK returnees for genotyping out of which six were found to be Covid-19 positive, Geo News reported.
"Three showed the new variant for the COVID-19 in the first phase," the Department said in a statement.
The statement added the genotyping revealed it to be a 95 per cent match of the new strain, which is 70 per cent more transmissible.
The authorities have initiated contact tracing of the patients and are placing them under isolation.
"These samples will go through a second round of genotyping," Department spokesperson Meeran Yousuf told Geo News.
The development comes as Pakistan's overall coronavirus caseload and death toll have increased to 475,085 and 9,992, as of Tuesday.