The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) on Thursday dispatched for testing samples from three patients who are suspected to have contracted the Novel Coronavirus.
The samples have been sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the hospital confirmed.
Pims’ spokesperson Dr Waseem Khawaja said that three people, including a Chinese national and two locals, had arrived at the hospital on Thursday with symptoms similar to those for the virus. They join the Chinese national who is already under treatment at the isolation ward set up in Pims.
Dr Khawaja added that lab reports for the admitted Chinese national have come back as negative.
Virus suspect at IIA
Meanwhile, a suspected Novel Coronavirus patient landed at the Islamabad International Airport on Thursday.
Identified as Sulaiman Khan, he arrived in the federal capital from Kunming in the Yunnan province of China.
During a screening, he was found to have a higher body temperature than normal. The staff of the health department immediately shifted him to the isolation ward.
After being provided with initial medical attention, he was shifted to the isolation ward in Pims.
A resident of Peshawar, Sulaiman complained of having a cough.
Dr Mirza overseeing screening
Separately, in a meeting of the Emergency Core Group on the Novel Coronavirus in Islamabad on Thursday, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said that a comprehensive plan is in place to deal with the situation and to remain prepared as the situation evolves.
“I am personally overseeing the screening of travellers at airports and ensuring all protocols are in place,” Dr Mirza said, adding, “We have significantly increased the strength of health staff at airports to further augment the screening process.”
Chairing the meeting, Dr Mirza stressed that all necessary measures for preparedness and response to the public health challenges are being taken.