–800 people who recently returned to Sindh after travelling to Iran have been quarantined in their homes
ISLAMABAD: Health authorities on Tuesday confirmed the fifth case of the deadly coronavirus in Pakistan after a 45-year-old woman from Gilgit-Baltistan was diagnosed with COVID-19.
State Minister for Health Dr Zafar Mirza confirmed the case on Twitter. The woman had arrived from Iran recently.
Mirza assured that the patient is stable and being taken care of, and requested the media to respect the privacy of the patient and his family.
The patient is being treated at a hospital in Gilgit and her family members are being tested for the virus. Local schools have also been closed till March 7 following the confirmation of the infection.
It also emerged that three of the five Pakistani patients belong to Gilgit-Baltistan while the rest to Karachi.
According to health officials, samples of at least 12 suspected patients have been sent to the NIH Islamabad for the coronavirus test. The GB health department lacks facilities to conduct such tests.
Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has said that passengers with novel coronavirus symptoms from China, Iran and other virus-hit countries will be quarantined for 15 days.
The NDMA spokesperson said the quarantine centre will be ready in one week, and lodging facilities, a dispensary, a cafeteria and other recreational facilities will be available within the premises.
The spokesperson stated that the quarantine centre has been set up as a precautionary measure to manage the outbreak of the coronavirus.
In addition, the NDMA has also established a modern quarantine centre with 300 beds in Islamabad and has obtained three modern scanners – worth Rs20 million – to identify individuals showing higher body temperature on arrival in Pakistan.
800 PILGRIMS QUARANTINED IN SINDH:
Meanwhile, Sindh health officials said that more than 800 people who have recently returned home after travelling to Iran have been quarantined in their homes as part of measures to contain coronavirus in the province.
Meeran Yousuf, media coordinator to the health and population welfare minister, said the families quarantined in their homes in various parts of Sindh had returned from Iran but did not exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.
She said these residents will remain in home quarantine for the recommended isolation period of 14 days from their respective date of arrival in the province.
Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, who was chairing a meeting of the task force on coronavirus, was informed on Tuesday that a total of 2,534 pilgrims had left for Iran via Karachi airport and the Taftan border. Of these, 764 people, who returned to their homes in Sindh during the last 14 days but did not show any symptoms, were kept in quarantine.
“Presently, 557 have been quarantined at their homes while 1,213 are yet to be traced whether they have returned or [are] still in Iran or at Taftan,” the chief minister’s office said in a statement.
Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan at Chaman was closed on Monday as a precautionary measure against the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
The Ministry of Interior issued an official notification on Sunday, announcing closure of the border initially for seven days.
All business and trade activities at the Chaman border remained completely suspended. Offices of immigration, customs, transports and other relevant establishments remained closed.
Security forces deployed at the border closed the Friendship Gate and tightened security at the border its adjoining areas.
The Afghan transit trade and NATO supplies for US troops stationed in Afghanistan also remained suspended.