Pakistan government confirms first two coronavirus cases


At least two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Pakistan, Dr Zafar Mirza, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s special assistant on health, confirmed Wednesday night.

“Both cases are being taken care of according to clinical standard protocols & both of them are stable,” Dr Mirza said in a tweet. He asked people not to panic and said things are under control.

Earlier, the Sindh health department had confirmed that a patient was diagnosed with coronavirus in Karachi..

According to the health officials, the 22-year-old man was diagnosed with it in Karachi. The patient had recently traveled to Iran from Karachi. The man and his family have been placed in quarantine at the Aga Khan University Hospital.

The health department said that the patient had traveled to Karachi from Iran in a plane. All passengers traveling with him will be examined by the government.

The deadly virus has infected over 140 people in Iran and claimed 19 lives so far. Pakistan had already closed its border with Iran after the coronavirus outbreak there.

Around 270 people, including pilgrims, returning from Iran have been isolated and placed under quarantine in Taftan’s Pakistan House for two weeks. The Provincial Disaster Management Authority said they are taking all possible protective measures at the Taftan border.

Nasir Hussain, the Sindh information minister, said that the government has set up isolation wards to deal with possible outbreak of the coronavirus. The minister said that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has contacted the Chinese ambassador to Pakistan and sought equipment to treat the patients.

Dr Mirza held a press conference shortly after the two cases were confirmed. He told reporters in Balochistan that one case was reported from Sindh and the other one was reported from a “federal” area.

The premier has instructed the health officials to give updates to the media on a daily basis.

“You will be informed of the current situation daily,” he said, adding that the government will not hide the cases.

He urged the media to not “unnecessary sensationalise” the situation. “Don’t try to find the patients,” he added.

Dr Mirza said at least 100 people have also gone through tests and all were found negative.

This is a developing story. It is being updated

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