The deadly coronavirus outbreak has hit Pakistan as at least two positive cases have been reported from Islamabad and Karachi.
Pakistan health authorities confirmed the coronavirus cases, stating that both the individuals who had travelled from Iran were tested positive on their return.
The cases were confirmed by Dr Zafar Mirza, special health assistant to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“I can confirm the first two cases of coronavirus in Pakistan. Both cases are being taken care of according to the clinical standard protocols. Both of them are stable. There is no need to panic, things are under control,” he said.
The first person, tested positive with the deadly virus, has been identified as Syed Muhammad Yahya Jafri.
The 22-year-old resident of Karachi travelled to Mashhad and Tehran in Iran. He flew back to Pakistan during the last week and developed symptoms similar to those having the respiratory disease caused by the COVID-19.
“The 22-year-old Jaffri returned from Iran to Karachi by plane. He and his family have been placed in quarantine and the health department is examining all the passengers he was travelling with,” said Meeran Yousuf, spokesperson of the Sindh Health Minister.
The second person tested positive in Islamabad hails from Gilgit Baltistan. This patient had also travelled to Iran and had developed symptoms of the virus.
“The patient, in the early 50s, has tested positive for COVD-19 and is undergoing treatment at an isolation ward at PIMS. Both the patients are in stable condition,” an official of the National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination confirmed.
The confirmation of two cases has prompted the Pakistani government to announce national emergency across the country, with Sindh and Balochistan governments closing down all academic institutions.
The government said at least 5,000 individuals all across the country may have been exposed to the virus. About 1,500 people have been identified who returned from Iran that would undergo a tests to check if they have been affected, The Dawn reported.
Even though the government is calling on citizens to stay calm, locals are fearful of increasing number of cases.
Pharmaceutical companies and medical stores have started to sell ordinary masks and other equipment at higher prices.