LAHORE: The number of individuals suspected to have contracted the deadly coronavirus has risen to five in Pakistan, with three of them admitted to the Services Hospital in Lahore, and two of them admitted to the Nishtar Hospital in Multan.
According to reports, one of the two patients at the Nishtar Hospital is a Pakistani national.
The three persons admitted to the Services Hospital are Chinese, hailing from Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, and their relevant samples have been sent to a laboratory in Hong Kong for confirmation.
Treatment can be initiated only after their medical reports are received within 24 to 48 hours, sources told the media.
All suspected patients are kept in isolation and intensive care to keep the possible spread of the virus.
The death toll from a coronavirus outbreak in China rose to 81 on Monday, as the government extended the Lunar New Year holiday and more big businesses shut down or told staff to work from home in an effort to curb the spread.
The total number of confirmed cases in China rose about 30% to 2,744, about half of them in Hubei province, whose capital is Wuhan.
The number of deaths from the flu-like virus in Hubei climbed to 76 from 56, health officials said, with five deaths elsewhere in China, including the southern island province of Hainan, which reported its first fatality on Monday.
While a small number of cases have been confirmed in more than 10 countries, linked to people who traveled from Wuhan, no deaths have been reported elsewhere.
Wuhan is already in virtual lockdown and severe limits on movement are in place in several other Chinese cities.
The city of 11 million clamped down further on Monday, announcing the suspension of visa and passport services until Jan. 30.