Pakistan confirms first two cases of coronavirus; colleges in Sindh, Balochistan closed
Islamabad, Feb 27: After two persons returning from Iran tested positive for the deadly coronavirus in Pakistan's largest city Karachi, all educational institutions in Sindh and Balochistan provinces have been closed.
On Wednesday, a young man tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Karachi - the first confirmed case in Pakistan.
Shortly after, another case was confirmed and both have returned from Iran, Special Advisor on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said. Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani announced on Twitter that "all Govt and private educational institutions will remain closed on Thursday & Friday (27th & 28th Feb)."
Balochistan government announced to close down all educational institutions across the province till March 15.
An official handout said the government took the step "as a precaution to protect children from coronavirus." "I can confirm first two cases of coronavirus in Pakistan. Both cases are being taken care of according to clinical standard protocols & both of them are stable. No need to panic, things are under control," Mirza tweeted on Wednesday.
"If you or somebody you know have recently returned from China, Iran or a country where #COVIDー19 is prevalent and if there are symptoms like fever, cough, difficulty in breathing, please report by calling at 1166," he was quoted by the Dawn news on Thursday.
Mirza in a late night media interaction in Quetta, capital of Balochistan, said that both the patients came from Iran but they were in stable condition. Pakistan has closed its border with Iran where at least 19 people have died from the virus. He said the government had taken effective protective measures well in time to stop the outbreak of virus in Pakistan.
He urged the citizens with travel history of Iran and China and having coronavirus symptoms to contact the medical experts.
Meanwhile, there are reports of shortage of masks which are considered as the basic precautionary measure to protect one against the coronavirus. Authorities have asked the people not to panic as there was no threat of the spread of the disease in the country.