ISLAMABAD - Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza has said that no Pakistani will return with­out completion of 14 days of incuba­tion in China and declare virus-free.

Addressing a press briefing here on Saturday, the SAPM said that decision had been taken following the footsteps of the Chinese government which had made a similar compulsory regulation for its own citizens before they leave China.

Dr Mirza said that the Chinese gov­ernment had made regulation for its cit­izens that no one would be able to travel in other countries unless it spends 14 days under observation and should have incubation certificate in this manner.

He said Pakistan has also agreed with China that no Pakistani will leave China until it covers 14 days of incubation period.

“Pakistan Embassy in China has also taken measures for its citizens regard­ing keeping them in observation be­fore they leave China and also made an agreement for facilitation in visa issues,” he said, adding that no individual will face problem in extension of his visa as Pakistan Embassy was facilitating them.

The SAPM on health, informing about the scientific capacity of labs for test­ing and confirmation of coronavirus, said that the coronavirus testing kits would reach Pakistan today before the resuming of flight operation with China.

He hoped that after receiving of the kits, Pakistan labs would be able to confirm or ‘exclude’ the coronavirus from the suspect.

“Tool kits will be utilised from to­day [Sunday] if it is required. Coro­navirus detecting tool kits are being provided with the collaboration of World Health Organization (WHO).

Dr. Mirza said that Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) in collaboration with other departments, including for­eign, interior and information ministries had made a comprehensive plan to re­ceive and examine the passengers from China when the flight operation resumes.

“Screening of all passengers will be done and they will be divided into groups when flights will resume. We have worked in detail that how

passengers will be divided into groups and what will be  the strategy for each separate group,” he added, saying that if the government hopefully remained successful in executing its prepared plan it would save the country from spread of coronavirus.

Retracting from his earlier statement of evacuation of other countries citizens from China, the SAPM said: “around seven to eight countries have evacuated or requested with the government of China to evacuate its citizens”.

He maintained that the Chinese government has reluctantly allowed those countries to evacuate their citizens in this situation.

“Wuhan has citizens of around 120 countries, and only seven to eight countries have decided to evacuate their nationals,” he said.

However, he said: “Pakistan is firm on its decision that its students and citizens are being better look after in, and the Chinese government there is addressing their problems as well.

He said that Minister of Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi also talked to his Chinese counterpart and both sides agreed welfare of Pakistani citizens and particularly students are priority of the Chinese government.  “China assured that it will take all helpful measures of Pakistani students there,” he said.

Responding to the concerns of students and families demanding evacuation operation from the government, the special assistant said that WHO had given recommendations about spread of the virus in result of evacuation and Pakistan wass taking careful decisions in this regard.

He said that WHO also commended measures taken by the Chinese government declaring it ‘good public health’ decisions.

“We completely trust China on taking its measures for control of the virus spread and supports its preventive measures as well,” he continued.  SAPM on health also said that outbreak is rapidly spreading in world infecting 2000-3000 people daily.  He said that out of 11,947 cases 249 have died and 99% cases have been reported in China so far. Dr. Mirza also said that the virus has been confirmed in 27 countries so far and his spreading from human contact also.  “No confirm virus has been reported in Pakistan so far and Ministry of National Health Services is also starting awareness campaign in electronic media,” Dr Mirza added.