Pakistan on alert as suspected coronavirus cases reaches five
One of the two suspected coronavirus patients in Multan is a Pakistani national.
Pakistan exercises caution as a new suspected case of the novel coronavirus has surfaced in Multan, taking the overall tally of fatal virus in Pakistan to five, The Express Tribune said in a report.
According to sources in the Health Ministry, two samples from Multan have been sent to Hong Kong for confirmation as there are no laboratories in Pakistan equipped to diagnose the pathogen, the report said on Sunday.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) received the samples on Sunday night, they added.
One of the two suspected coronavirus patients in Multan is a Pakistani national, said the sources.
On Saturday, NIH chief Major General Aamer Ikram said a Chinese national had been admitted to the Nishtar Hospital, Multan and kept in the isolation ward after he showed symptoms of the disease including flu, cough and fever.
Test reports were expected to arrive in the next 24 to 48 hours. The patients will receive necessary treatment based on the results of test reports.
According to sources, the Chinese national, hospitalised in Multan, travelled from China to Dubai and reached Karachi on January 21. After landing in Karachi, he took a flight to Multan.
Three Chinese nationals were also admitted to Lahore's Services Hospital and shifted to the isolation ward on Saturday, The Express Tribune report said.
According to hospital sources, the suspected patients were residents of the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, and had recently arrived in Lahore.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Office said on Sunday that over 500 students and other Pakistanis living in Wuhan and other parts of China were "safe", Dawn news reported.
Chinese health authorities announced on Monday that the death toll in the country due to the coronavirus had increased to 80, with 2,744 confirmed cases including 461 persons in critical conditions.
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