Suspected coronavirus patients in Pak test negative

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Suspected coronavirus patients in Pak test negative

Islamabad:  Seven suspected patients of the deadly novel coronavirus in Pakistan have all been tested negative for the fatal disease that has so far killed 361 people in China, the epicentre of the outbreak, it was reported on Monday.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Zafar Mirza told Dawn news on Sunday that thousands of testing kits had been arranged from multiple sources and hoped that no more kits would be required in future.

“Just after getting the kits we decided to test all seven suspects who were kept in isolation wards of hospitals in Karachi, Multan and other cities,” he said.

“Fortu�nately tests of all seven patients were found negative due to which we can surely say that there is no suspect of coronavirus in Pakistan.”

The testing kits would be provided wherever they were requi�red, he said, adding that now the National Institute of Health had become self-sufficient in diagnosis.

A high-level committee with senior most inter-sectoral and provincial representation has also been constituted for a national executive oversight.

The Emergency Operations Centre has also been activated in the National Institute of Health, which is the focal point for international health regulations in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, despite strong criticism from the opposition, the Pakistan government has decided to stay firm on its earlier decision against the repatriation of Pakistanis stuck in China, Dawn news reported.

Mirza told the media on Saturday that the decision of non-repatriation of Pakistani citizens from China was final, saying that the government had “complete trust” in Beijing’s policies to combat the epidemic.

He further said that a comprehensive plan had been devised to ensure that when flights from China to Pakistan resume, passengers are screened properly.

There are currently around 500 stranded Pakistani students in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.

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