ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi yesterday said that Pakistan was safe from the corona virus and Islamabad was in touch with the Chinese authorities on the issue.
Qureshi said that there were around 500 registered Pakistani students in the Wuhan city, while the number of non-registered students was between 500 and 800.
“China has banned movement in Corona affected areas. Until now, according to our reports, no Pakistani has been infected with the virus. We have asked two officers to register non-registered students and also have their numbers posted on the embassy’s website (in Beijing),” he said in a video statement.
He said that the Pakistani students may contact the embassy for registration or to obtain any information. “We are in constant contact with our Embassy in China, the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing and China posted in Pakistan. We have also approached the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing on a complaint of food shortage,” he added.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed preventive measures in the wake of possible coronavirus epidemic in Pakistan.
The Prime Minister’s Office issued a special letter to the concerned ministries in which they have been asked to devise a coordinated strategy to deal with the threat of the coronavirus. The letter also directed to convene a high level 15-member inter-ministerial committee meeting.
Pakistani students have said in the video released on social media that more than 2000 Pakistani students in 12 universities in Wuhan were facing scarcity of food. Students have also appealed to PM Imran Khan and FM Qureshi to fly them out of Wuhan.
Most of the Pakistani students suffering in Wuhan belong to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, and Punjab. A large number of Pakistani students are studying in Engineering and science university Wuhan.
Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho has issued a health advisory to government hospital amid the rise of deadly coronavirus. She expressed that the World Health Organization (WHO) alerted the province of dangerous virus.
Dr Pechuho expressed that WHO has advised the victims to wear masks and refrain from touching others. She further said that the virus can be spread through animals. Coronavirus makes breathing difficult for affectee. The number of individuals suspected to have contracted the deadly coronavirus has risen to five in Pakistan, with three of them admitted to the Services Hospital in Lahore, and two of them admitted to the Nishtar Hospital in Multan.
According to fresh reports, one of the two patients at the Nishtar Hospital is a Pakistani.
The three persons admitted to the Services Hospital are Chinese, hailing from Wuhan, the epicenter of the corona virus outbreak, and their relevant samples have been sent to a laboratory in Hong Kong for confirmation if the patients contract corona virus or not before their treatment could be started.
Treatment can be initiated only after their medical reports are received. All suspected patients are kept in isolation and intensive care to keep the possible spread of the virus.
The death toll from a coronavirus outbreak in China rose to 81 yesterday, as the government extended the Lunar New Year holiday and more big businesses shut down or told staff to work from home in an effort to curb the spread.
The total number of confirmed cases in China rose about 30 per cent to 2,744, about half of them in Hubei province, whose capital is Wuhan.