First coronavirus case diagnosed in Pakistan: sources

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MULTAN: The first case of coronavirus has been diagnosed in Multan after a man showing symptoms of the deadly virus was admitted to Nishtar Hospital here on Friday.

According to sources, the coronavirus patient first traveled from China to Dubai and reached at Karachi on January 21. After landing in Karachi he left for Multan through Pakistan International Airline flight PK-332.

A patient whose identification is still unknown shifted to Nishtar Hospital after his condition was deteriorated. He was shifted to the isolation ward.

It must be noted that the respiratory coronavirus has sickened more than 800 in China and killed at least 26. The outbreak began last month in the city of Wuhan in Hubei. Scientists have identified the illness as a new kind of coronavirus, a large family of viruses, some of which cause the common cold.

Earlier, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza said the country lacks the facility to detect the deadly coronavirus.

Dr. Zafar Mirza in a statement said samples of suspected cases will be sent to international labs for testing.

The SAPM said samples would be referred to labs of three countries, including China and Holland until the labs with the facility to detect the coronavirus are established in the country. He assured that the facility will be made available in two weeks.

Health officials fear the transmission rate could accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel at home and abroad during week-long holidays for the Lunar New Year, which begins on Saturday.

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