Latest patient is a 50-year-old man in Karachi; health officials say his immediate contacts have all been quarantined
Sindh province, which has emerged as the hub of the novel coronavirus in Pakistan, confirmed another positive test for the disease on Sunday, bringing to seven the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
“This is the seventh case in Pakistan though one has already recovered and discharged, while another one is ready to be discharged,” Special Assistant to the P.M. on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza posted on Twitter. “If we all act responsibly we can avoid coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan,” he added.
Of the seven confirmed cases, four have been from Sindh, while the remaining three were from the federal areas. The six cases that had been confirmed so far had all recently traveled to Iran, where nearly 200 people have died of the coronavirus already with thousands more infected.
According to the Sindh Health Department, a 50-year-old resident of Karachi is the latest patient. “All his contacts have been quarantined. We are looking into further details of the patient’s travel history,” read an official statement issued by the provincial body.
The new case comes amid stringent preventative measures designed to halt the spread of the contagious disease. All educational institutions in Sindh have been closed till March 13 over fears of the contagious disease’s outbreak in the province. Similarly, schools in Gilgit-Baltistan were closed till March 7; and educational institutions in Balochistan will remain closed till March 15.
The pandemic has spread to more than 109 countries and territories around the world, with deaths exceeding 3,800 and over 100,000 cases globally. Pakistan suspended flights to Iran and China after the outbreak of the disease in the two countries, though partial travel has been restored.
Dr. Mirza has continued to stress against any panic in Pakistan, claiming the government’s efforts are paying off and there is “no chance” of an outbreak in the country. “During the last one month, the federal government has taken several steps and adopted standard operating procedures,” he told journalists after a visit to PIMS in Islamabad. “Due to such steps, Pakistan is the last country in the region to report the coronavirus case at a time when cases were being reported in all neighboring countries, including China, Iran, Afghanistan and India.”