ISLAMABAD: According to Dr Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, no cases of COVID-19’s Omicron form have been discovered in Pakistan. Dr Faisal Sultan stated that a meeting is set for today at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to finalise vaccination guidelines and procedures. “We can’t stop the Omicron variant from getting to Pakistan,” the health minister added, “but we can control its impact by ramping up the immunisation procedure.” “Those who haven’t been immunised in any way are our top priority.” “We can control the impact if more individuals become inoculated.” He continued, “It is my request to the public to get vaccinated and follow SOPs.” What is Omicron? In a brief interview with Geo News, Dr Sultan explained that the virus is detected by examining the spike protein for certain mutations that could be concerning. He stated that the current knowledge [concerning Omicron] is based on assumptions. He did say, however, that after studying the spike in infections in South Africa, it was discovered that the new strain’s transmissibility is faster than any previously known COVID-19 variant. He also stated that any evidence about disease severity and the virus’s ability to “escape” the immune response in those who have been vaccinated or recovered has yet to be proven.