–PM’s special assistant says there are no confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: In contrast to the claims made by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi that Pakistan community in China was safe, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Wednesday confirmed that four Pakistani students in Wuhan, the birthplace of the deadly virus, have contracted the disease.
Addressing a press conference, Dr Mirza said that a large proportion of the Pakistanis living in China are students of which over 500 students are based in Wuhan. The premier’s special assistant said that there were four Pakistani students confirmed to have the coronavirus with links to Wuhan.
On Prime Minister Imran Khan’s behalf, Mirza assured the families of the children that the government will take care of them and all Pakistanis in China. “We will take care of them the same way we would care for our own children,” he said.
Mirza, however, said that no case of the coronavirus has been confirmed in Pakistan yet.
“There is not even one confirmed case of coronavirus inside Pakistan,” he said, adding that there were four individuals suspected of having the virus who were then kept under observation and their samples were collected.
Mirza said that their health was improving and per the evidence, they could say with a great degree of certainty that the individuals do not have coronavirus. The premier’s special assistant added that the cabinet had also discussed the virus during which he had presented a short briefing.
Mirza said that the government and himself were in constant contact with the Foreign Office as well as with Pakistan’s ambassador in China as well as the embassy.
The new virus has killed 132 people and infected more than 6,000 in mainland China and abroad so far. The United Arab Emirates, home to long haul carriers Emirates and Etihad, also confirmed its first case on Wednesday in a person who had come from Wuhan, the state-run news agency reported.
The infection is believed to have originated in a wild animal market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where it jumped to humans before spreading rapidly across the country, prompting authorities to enact drastic nationwide travel restrictions in recent days.
WHO’S GUIDE TO AVOID CORONAVIRUS:
WHO’s standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses are as follows, which include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
- When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
- The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.