ISLAMABAD - Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services (NHS) Dr Zafar Mirza has confirmed two more Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in country taking the toll to 4 in a week and urged public to stay calm and responsible in the developing situation.

He was speaking at a press briefing held here on Saturday along with the SAPM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan.

Dr Zafar Mirza said that one case has been confirmed in Karachi and being kept in isolation ward while the other has been confirmed in the federal territory.

Officials informed The Nation that the second patient confirmed with the COVID-19 is a female and she also had the travelling history of Iran.

Earlier, two patients were confirmed with the virus also from the same regions and all have the travelling history of Iran. He also requested to not reveal the identities of the patients in media. Informing about the health condition of first two cases identified in the country, Dr Mirza said that both were stable and one would soon be discharged from the hospital.

He said the government hadalso devised a plan to receive the pilgrims returning from Iran and it has started receiving them in collaboration with Iranian authorities.

However, he said that the flight operation with Iran would remain suspended in current situation.  “The government held a lengthy meeting with all relevant federal and provincial authorities and decided to up-scale the National Action Plan (NAP) and enhance coordination to meet the situation against COVID-19,” he said, adding that it was agreed amongst all authorities to increase the capacity by re-enforcing and recruiting more human resource in hospitals and airports.

“The government has taken details of human resource in hospitals and more recruitment could be done if required. It has been also decided to allocate some of the hospitals specifically for COVID-19,” he continued.

Stressing on the social responsibility, he urged public to cooperate with government and inform on 1166 if anyone is aware of the any individual who had travel history of China or Iran and also has COVID-19 symptoms.

The PM’s aide also asked for ‘social distancing’ from persons who had symptoms of flue and fever and asked to avoid mixing in populated gathering to stop the spread of any kind of flue in masses.

He continued government would soon issue an advisory about use of face masks also and publish an information pamphlet in this regard for the awareness of public.

He said that every citizen does not require using a face mask but the government would also focus on local production to meet the quantity in need of emergency.

He said that a three-member committee comprising representatives from ministry of NHS, Information and Broadcasting and ISPR would be formed for awareness regarding COVID-19.

Speaking on the occasion, the SAPM on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan said that all provincial and federal stake holders in a meeting held discussed the NAP on COVID-19.

She said that instead of spreading the fear and panic, all should follow the preventive measures and show responsibility beyond their political affiliations.

She said that all political parties should play their role for awareness in public about the virus while in next cabinet meeting recommendations about COVID-19, NAP will also be presented for approval.

The SAPM also said that government wanted to give ownership of this NAP to the ministry of NHS and it would develop a structure about it.

“There is no emergency of COVID-19 in the country, but still nation should remain prepared for any situation. Any irresponsibility in this situation from any side could cause economic damage to the country,” she added.

Commenting about US-Afghan peace deal, the SAPM on Information said that both sides reached on peace agreement due to successful diplomacy of Pakistan.

She said that Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan was the only leader who from the first day had stressed on peace negotiations for Afghanistan solution.