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Government Denies Any Coronavirus Cover-up

by Newsweek Pakistan

Courtesy PID

Special Assistant to the P.M. on Health says there is no truth to the rumors that cases of virus are being downplayed due to PSL

Special Assistant to the P.M. on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza on Wednesday rejected rumors that the government was under-reporting the number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan due to the ongoing Pakistan Super League.

“The reports of the government hiding the total number of confirmed cases of the virus in Pakistan are 100 percent false,” Mirza told reporters in Islamabad. “In fact, it is 200 percent untrue,” he added.

The fifth edition of the PSL—the first to be completely hosted in Pakistan—kicked off on Feb. 20 and will end on March 22. Thus far, the government has confirmed five cases of COVID-19 in Pakistan.

“Every little case of the common cough or flu should not be mistaken for the coronavirus,” said Mirza. “If people get alarmed and concerned at every little illness, there will soon be a panic in the country,” he said, adding, “Please wash your hands regularly.”

The special assistant to the P.M. said Pakistan had managed to contain the pandemic thanks to the preventive measures taken by the government. “This is why we managed to contain the spread compared to other world nations,” he said, adding that the government was also working on a strategy to tackle the possible spread of dengue in Pakistan.

Referring to school closures in Islamabad and federal areas, Mirza said at this stage the federal government did not recommend the closure of schools but added that the provincial governments were independent and the center had no objection to their decisions to close schools.

Addressing the issue of Pakistani students in Wuhan, where the outbreak of the novel coronavirus was first reported, Mirza said they had not been brought back in line with the regulations imposed by the Chinese government. However, he said, the government was in touch with them and there was no restriction on any Pakistani residing outside Hubei province.

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