Pakistan Has No Laboratory to Diagnose Coronavirus

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza says that Pakistan lacks medical facilities that can diagnose Coronavirus.

Since Coronavirus is a new bacterium, only laboratories in the USA, China, and the Netherlands have the capacity to diagnose it properly. Pakistan will send samples of suspected cases to laboratories in these countries.

Presiding over a meeting of chiefs of federal hospitals, Dr. Mirza directed the health ministry to set up quarantine areas and surveillance systems at entry points at all international airports and seaports before 8th February. Health ministry will also set up special booths at airports to inform arriving passengers about Coronavirus.

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has set up thermal scanners at Islamabad International Airport, Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore and the Bacha Khan International Airport in Peshawar.

At each airport, a doctor and two paramedics will scan arriving travelers using thermal body scanners and thermometers. In case a passenger is identified as a virus-carrier, they will be kept in the quarantine area set up by the CAA until they are moved to a hospital.

Coronavirus, which has been named 2019-nCoV, first emerged on December 31st in a seafood market in Wuhan, China. So far, it has killed 80 people in China and infected another 2000. Suspected cases of Coronavirus have been reported in Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, and the United States.

While the 2019-nCoV has sparked panic across the globe, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Coronavirus as a health emergency only for China. In an attempt to curb Coronavirus from spreading further, the Chinese government not only called off major Lunar New Year celebrations in affected areas but it also suspended all ground and air traffic in Wuhan.

Via: Express Tribune


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