Imran Khan government has been vehemently criticized for not airlifting Pakistani citizens stranded in Wuhan and other parts of China.
Even though Pakistan could change its decision as its de facto health minister affirmed that the country is now equipped to diagnose the mysterious disease after the arrival of at least 1,000 testing kits from China.
In a series of tweets, Dr Zafar Mirza, the prime minister’s aide on National Health Services, praised the National Institute of Health (NIH) team “for their hard work in securing the reagent for diagnosing” the virus, which triggered declaration of a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Jan 31 following its proliferation to more than two dozen countries.
194/ Alhamdolilah, as of today we have now capability of diagnosing #Coronarivus in Pakistan. I want to applaud our NIH leadership and team for their hard work in securing the reagent for diagnosing. pic.twitter.com/nb9jll4JwP
— Zafar Mirza (@zfrmrza) February 2, 2020
Earlier, Pakistan President Dr Arif Alfi quoted a saying the Prophet Mohammad to support Pakistan’s decision to not evacuate its nationals from Wuhan, even as the Imran Khan government faces flak and ridicule for leaving citizens to their own fate amid the health emergency.
“If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it, but if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place,” said Alvi, citing the Hadith on Twitter.
The Pakistani students in China have to be helped in every way and brought back to Pakistan fulfilling all international health requirements ensuring their health and safety. https://t.co/bCfwYmKRZc
— Dr. Arif Alvi (@ArifAlvi) January 31, 2020
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s decision to not fly out its citizens from Wuhan, unlike India, has ramped up domestic anger against the government. A video taken by a Pakistani student in Wuhan, while Indian nationals were being evacuated from the city, has drawn emotional reactions on Twitter.
Really sad. A Pakistani student in #Wuhan watching his Indian counterparts being evacuated. The students have been left to their fate by #Pakistan government. #coronarovirus pic.twitter.com/OT3kmDyT7I
— Snehesh Alex Philip (@sneheshphilip) February 1, 2020
According to the World Health Organization – Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause sickness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been identified in humans earlier.
Coronaviruses are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome was transmitted from civet cats to humans and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
Typical signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing troubles. In more severe cases, an infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.