ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) on Thursday received three more suspects of Coronavirus, including a Chinese national.

PIMS Spokesperson Dr. Waseem Khawaja said that three suspects of Coronavirus were shifted to the hospital’s isolation ward while the samples were sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH) for investigation.

He said that three suspects of the virus also included one Chinese national.

Dr. Waseem said that the sample reports of earlier admitted Chinese national were negative.

Meanwhile, the Emergency Core Group on Novel Coronavirus on Thursday decided to increase the strength of staff on entry and exit points of the country for strict screening of passengers.

A statement released by the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) said that a meeting of the Emergency Core Group on Novel Coronavirus was held here yesterday with Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza in the chair.

Federal Health Secretary Dr. Allah Bakhsh Malik, Executive Director NIH Maj Gen Dr. Aamer Ikram and senior officials were present in the meeting.

The meeting reviewed in detail the current status of preparedness and response for Novel Coronavirus.

Addressing the meeting, Dr. Zafar Mirza said that necessary measures for preparedness and response to the public health challenge were being taken.

“We have a comprehensive plan to deal with the situation and remain prepared as the situation evolves,” he said.

He also added that he is personally overseeing the screening of the travellers at the airports and ensuring all protocols are in place.

“We have significantly increased the strength of health staff at airports to further augment the screening process,” he said.

The Special Assistant to Prime Minister also added that the Emergency Core Group was monitoring the situation round the clock in coordination with all stakeholders, including the provincial governments, and there was no confirmed case of Coronavirus in Pakistan.

Dr. Mirza also said that the virus has been confirmed in 27 countries so far and his spreading from human contact also.

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