Toll from the corona variant Omicron in Pakistan has reached a total of 75 as of December 27, the National Institute of Health (NIH) said Tuesday. The NIH, in a statement, noted the first case of the corona variant was reported on December 13 in Karachi after the World Health Organization (WHO) designated it as a “variant of concern” on November 26. The institution said since then, the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination, National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), NIH, and provincial health departments had remained vigilant to detect the variant in Pakistan. Thirty-three cases of the variant have been reported in Karachi, 17 in Islamabad, and 13 in Lahore, while 12 of the total 75 cases were associated with international travel, the NIH noted. The health institution said relevant authorities had isolated the patients and initiated contact tracing in order to control the spread of the variant. “The vaccination and standard operations procedures (SOPs) continue to be our best defence against COVID-19 despite the mutations being reported,” the NIH told the masses. The NIH noted that all government-approved COVID-19 vaccines available in Pakistan “remain highly effective in preventing severe disease and hospitalisation”. The NIH urged everyone to get both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and the booster dose as per the eligibility criteria and process. Earlier in the day, the NCOC issued the latest coronavirus statistics, suggesting that the positivity rate in Pakistan remained 0.69% during the last 24 hours. As many as 291 new COVID-19 infections were confirmed after 41,869 diagnostic tests were conducted overnight, while three patients succumbed to the virus during the same period. Last month, Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan had sounded the alarm, saying that the arrival of the Omicron variant was inevitable and a matter of time.