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Dr Zafar Mirza confirms two coronavirus cases in Pakistan

Educational institutes throughout Balochistan province will remain closed until March 15

By Anees-ur-Rehman

February 26, 2020 10:35 PM


Special Assistant to PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza has confirmed coronavirus attack in Pakistan saying two people have been tested positive with the deadly virus.

Addressing a press conference in Quetta late Wednesday, Dr Mirza said all resources were being utilised to protect the people from the pandemic.

Flanked by Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal, the health adviser appealed to the people returning from Iran to make sure medical check-up.

Educational institutes throughout the Balochistan province will remain closed until March 15. According to TV reports, the decision was taken as preventive measures.

Dr Mirza said people should feel free to contact Helpline 1166 for any query. He said he would keep updating people about the situation on a daily basis as Prime Minister Imran Khan issued special directives on the matter.

The adviser said that federal and provincial governments were taking all-out steps against the virus. He said unity need of the hour to cope with the challenge. He said he along with Balcohisan CM Jam Kamal would visit Taftan tomorrow to oversee the situation.

He called upon media to cooperation with the government to get away with the virus. “Don’t go for overplaying. Air authentic and factual stories as we are getting through such a big problem,” he added.

Answering a question, he said 100 people underwent coronavirus tests, but none of them was found affected.

In a tweet, Dr Mirza said both the victims were stable. Don’t be panic, situation is under control, he maintained.

https://twitter.com/zfrmrza/status/1232707169163841537

Earlier, the Sindh Health Department confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Pakistan. Karachi's twenty-two years old Yahya Jaffery has been affected by the virus and admitted to a private hospital. He has been shifted to a special ward for further examination. His family has also been quarantined in the ward as a precautionary measure.

Jaffery reached Karachi through a flight from Iran, a couple of days ago and the authorities are also gathering details of passengers who travelled with him.

Sindh educational institutes to remain closed 

Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani late Wednesday announced that all the public and private educational intuitions across the province to remain closed until February 28. He said that the Sindh government took this decision as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus.

The officials didn't confirm where the second case was reported. However, media said it was in Islamabad.

A doctor checks the body temperature of a man returning from Iran at a quarantine zone to test for coronavirus in Pakistan-Iran border town of Taftan.–AFP

Border closed 

The government closed official border crossings to Iran that has reported 19 deaths out of more than 150 infections – making it one of the hardest hit countries outside the virus epicentre China. Pakistan also established medical check-up points and quarantine centres along Iran border to stop the spread of coronavirus.

On Wednesday some suspicious cases were reported in Peshawar district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but the health officials said they were not hit by coronavirus.

Experts feared the measures could prove ineffective with thousands of people – refugees fleeing violence, Shiite pilgrims, smugglers and migrants looking for work – likely crossing the long, poorly patrolled frontiers every day.

The virus has spread to more than 25 countries, killing over 2,700 and infecting 80,000, mostly in China. But new outbreaks in Europe, the Middle East and in Asia have fanned fears of the contagion taking hold in poor nations which lack the healthcare infrastructure to cope.

Afghanistan also announced Monday its first virus infection involving a patient who had recently been in Iran where millions of Afghans live and Barzil have also confirmed first case in the South America.


Anees-ur-Rehman


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