Islamabad: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar has trashed reports stating the two Thai nationals had contracted the Indian coronavirus variant from Pakistan and said it was quite possible that they had contracted the virus from Thailand or somewhere else as the virus was not reported in his country.

Umar, who is also the head of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) – the principal body governing the policies and implementation of the national Covid-19 effort of Pakistan – told Dawn news some of the variants such as UK, Brazilian and South African were reported but not a single case of Indian variant has been reported in Pakistan yet.

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The Federal Minister for Planning and Development’s remarks came as the health authorities in Thailand earlier said they have confirmed the nation’s first cases of the Indian variant of Covid-19 in a Thai woman and her son, presently in state quarantine since arriving from Pakistan.

In view of the unprecedented surge in Covid-19 cases in India, Thailand banned travellers from the said country, other than Thai citizens, beginning May 1.

Earlier on Monday, Thailand extended the entry ban to foreigners visiting from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal in a bid to keep the Indian variant from spreading.

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