The first two cases of the novel coronavirus in Pakistan have been confirmed, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said in a tweet on Wednesday evening.
“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,” he wrote.
“No need to panic, things are under control,” he added, announcing that he will hold a press conference tomorrow on his return from Taftan.
Addressing a late-night press conference in Quetta on Wednesday, Mirza said one of the cases was reported in Sindh while the second was confirmed in “federal areas”. He added that both the affected persons had travelled to Iran in the last two weeks but refused to comment further on the two cases.
Mirza’s tweet came moments after the Sindh health department announced that a young man had tested positive for the coronavirus in Karachi.
The 22-year-old male patient travelled to Iran where he acquired COVID-19, Media Coordinator to the Health and Population Welfare Minister Meeran Yousuf said in a statement, days after Pakistan closed its land border with Iran, where 19 people have died from the virus. The patient travelled from Iran to Karachi by plane on February 20. He and his family have been placed in quarantine and the Health Department is in the process of examining all the passengers that he travelled with, the statement added.
Yousuf said the man had started showing symptoms while he was in Iran. His tests were carried out today at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) which turned out to be positive, she said.
Yousuf said the Sindh government has informed the federal government, World Health Organisation and other partners about the confirmation of the virus in the patient. “The passengers who travelled with him were exposed as well; we will track down all the passengers and carry out their tests,” she added.
No information was immediately available about the second case identified in Pakistan.