First two cases of coronavirus have been reported in Pakistan, Public health advisor to Prime Minister Imran Khan, Dr. Zafar Mirza, tweeted on Wednesday minutes after the first case was reported in the Karachi.
“I can confirm first two cases of corona virus in Pakistan. Both cases are being taken care of according to clinical standard protocols & both of them are stable,” Dr Mirza wrote on Twitter.
He also noted that there was “no need to panic [as] things are under control”.
220/ I can confirm first two cases of corona virus in Pakistan. Both cases are being taken care of according to clinical standard protocols & both of them are stable. No need to panic, things are under control. I will hold press conf tomorrow on return from Taftan.
— Zafar Mirza (@zfrmrza) February 26, 2020
The second patient, identified in Islamabad, was shifted to a quarantine in the capital’s Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS).
“A person has been confirmed with virus in Karachi and another has been kept in isolation ward of PIMS,” the source had said. Health Secretary Dr Allah Baksh Malik, however, was reluctant to confirm that a patient had been admitted at PIMS.
One patient, Yahya Jaffri, 22, had recently flown back with his family from Iran to Karachi, the capital of southern Sindh province.
A provincial government spokesman, Murtaza Wahab, said the patient’s family also was placed in isolation to determine whether any other members had been infected with the virus, known as COVID-19.
“We are locating the other members of the group so they can be put in an isolation ward,” said Murtaza Wahab, adviser to the chief minister of Sindh province, of which Karachi is the capital.
On Monday, Pakistan announced it was temporarily closing its border with Iran, where coronavirus was first detected a week ago and 19 people have died out of 139 patients. More than 200 Pakistani Shiite Muslim pilgrims are being kept in a makeshift quarantine facility at Pakistan’s border with Iran.
Preventive Measure – Helpline:
Addressing a press conference shortly after first case of coronavirus was reported, SAPM Dr Mirza spoke of medical ethics and stressed not to “share information of the patient”.
The SAPM informed people that a helpline — 1166 — had been set up for coronavirus patients. “Please don’t hesitate to call the number,” he said.
“If you or somebody you know have recently returned from China, Iran or a country where #COVIDー19 is prevalent and if there are symptoms like fever, cough, difficulty in breathing, please report by calling at 1166,” he said.
223/ If you or somebody you know have recently returned from China, Iran or a country where #COVIDー19 is prevalent and if there are symptoms like fever, cough, difficulty in breathing – please report by calling at 1166.
— Zafar Mirza (@zfrmrza) February 27, 2020
Meanwhile as a precautionary measure, Baluchistan government announced the closure of all education institutions in the province until March 15.
According to Baluchistan Minister for Secondary and Higher Education Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind, all government schools, madressahs and private schools in the province will remain closed until March 15.
Sindh government announced that educational institutions in the province would be shut on Thursday and Friday (Feb 27 and Feb 28).