Islamabad - There is no confirmed case of Novel Corona Virus in Pakistan; the reports about cases in Multan are inaccurate. As per standard guidelines and procedure any traveler from China having flu-like symptoms has to be isolated and monitored. The patients being referred to by some have no serious symptoms- are responding to treatment and improving, said Dr. Zafar Mirza Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health in an official statement.

Let me assure the people that the Government is closely monitoring the situation and all necessary measures are being taken to screen all travelers from China and provide hospital-care where required, he said. Thermo Scanners and Thermo Guns have been provided to well trained health staff at airports in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad to screen all passengers. Separately, a special dedicated team is assigned for screening passengers arriving via flights from China. Since Friday, however, China has closed its outbound direct flights to Pakistan due to Chinese spring festival. According to the current schedule South China Airline flights will resume from 29 January and China Airlines flights will resume from 3 February.

Govt fully prepared-no need for panic or alarm: Dr. Zafar Mirza

Utmost vigilance is being maintained and an Emergency Operation Cell in Federal Health Ministry is monitoring the situation round the clock. Instructions have been given to all major hospitals to make arrangements to receive possible cases and provide them necessary care. We have established contact with all Provincial Chief Ministers, Provincial Health Departments; relevant ministries including interior dealing with immigration, Aviation Division, NDMA to ensure there is seamless coordination and that our efforts are synergized, timely and effective said Dr. Zafar Mirza.

Considering that there will be heavy influx of travelers from China after 8th of February 2020 when the celebrations of Chinese New Year conclude, all relevant authorities have been asked to carry out robust surveillance for screening at the points of entry at Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi airports alongside seaports and land crossings, raising public awareness and ensuring hospital preparedness for management of potential cases.

I am personally monitoring the situation and we are meeting every 48 hours with heads of hospitals, health institutions and all relevant departments to review the situation and take necessary measures for optimal level of preparedness and mitigation in the event we have a suspected case. We are establishing a help line to be functional from Wednesday for information on the disease and to respond to queries.

There is absolutely no cause for panic or alarm. People need to take simple precautions for prevention against common flu like covering the nose and mouth while coughing and sneezing, frequent hand washing for 20 seconds with soap, avoiding close contact with sick people, avoid contact with animals, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands added Dr. Mirza.