KARACHI          -            The Sindh health department says the 22-year-old diagnosed with the coronavirus in Karachi does actually have the virus. It denied reports by The News claiming that the patient has tested negative for the virus and the first case was a “hoax”.

The News cited “final laboratory reports” in the possession of Karachi University Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Khalid Mehmood Iraqi as the basis for their claim. To be clear, Dr Iraqi is not a medical doctor.

He claimed that the 22-year-old tested negative for the virus.

Sindh Health Secretary Zahid Abbasi has denied this report and urged the media to report responsibly. In a statement, he said that the patient was tested again on February 29 and his result came out positive.

He is currently in isolation at the Aga Khan University Hospital and is receiving symptomatic treatment. “This is a national emergency and we request you all to not believe the rumors being spread by individuals who are only focusing on personal fame through this,” said the health department.

Abbasi said the patient’s family and friends have been cleared. When he tests negative for the virus, he will be discharged, but not before that, he said. The secretary did, however, say that the patient is doing better.

The first coronavirus case in Karachi (and one of the first in Pakistan) was reported on February 26.

The patient was revealed to be a 22-year-old with a recent history of travel to Iran. The third and fourth cases in Pakistan were confirmed on Saturday, with another case being reported in Karachi.