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70% cases are UK COVID-19 variant infected in Punjab: Health Minister Yasmin Rashid

The UK variant is spreading rapidly because it’s more infectious, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid on Thursday.The influx of people travelling back from the UK has resulted in a rise in infections in Lahore, Jhelum, Okara and Gujarat.

Around 70% of the COVID-19 cases being reported in these cities are of the new variant, Dr Rashid said.

Cases started rising again in Punjab towards the end of February, according to government statistics. On Thursday, 1,290 new cases were recorded compared to 1,006 on Wednesday. Around 700 to 1,000 new cases are being reported on an everyday basis.

People started taking it lightly when cases declined, Dr Rashid said. They stopped wearing masks and carrying hand sanisiters.

The government also started reopening businesses, wedding halls and other public places after the second coronavirus wave plateaued, she said. There needs to be strict compliance of mask-wearing and smart lockdowns will be reimposed if cases keep rising

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