ISLAMABAD - The National Institute of Health (NIH) received 25 samples of Coronavirs suspects so far and were declared negative after the lab examination, The Nation learnt on Friday.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) authorities said that three more suspects including two Chinese nationals were shifted to the isolation ward of the hospital.  PIMS spokesperson Dr. Waseem Kahwaja said that previously admitted three suspects were discharged after their sample reports from NIH were declared negative.

He said that samples of newly admitted suspects have also been sent to the NIH for investigation.

Meanwhile, the Emergency Core Group to review the Coronavirus situation in the country in its meeting held here confirmed that so far 25 samples of the virus were sent to the NIH and all were declared negative.  The meeting attended by Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza, Secretary Health Dr. Allah Bakhsh Malik and others was briefed by Executive Director NIH Maj. Gen. Aamir Ikarm.  He informed that all the 25 samples received were tested negative and there is no Coronavirus confirmation in country. He also said that the staff on all entry and exit points of the country is being trained by the NIH and all preventive measures are being taken in this regard. Officials at NIH also said that the suspected cases were received from Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the federal capital.

Later, Dr. Zafar Mirza held a meeting with representatives of international bodies working on health. The meeting was also attended by World Health Organization representative Dr. Palitha Gunarathna Mahipala.

Dr. Zafar briefed the meeting that Pakistan has taken all preventive measures taking all federating units onboard and established an Emergency Operation cell in the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS).

He informed the representatives of international bodies that Emergency Core Group is daily reviews the situation on Coronavirus and implements its decisions.

The SAPM said that the government is in contact with the Chinese government and is strictly monitoring the developing situation.

“Screening of all passengers at airports is being strengthened and the health declaration form has been made compulsory for all passengers,” he said.  The ministry held another meeting with chief secretaries of all provinces, foreign office representatives, chief commissioner Islamabad and high officials of the army.

The authorities discussed the joint strategy to cope with the current situation under national action plan.

SAPM Dr. Zafar Mirza said that the government has banned the export of all medical equipments related to prevent Coronavirus in the country. He said there are 19 entry points of the country and all are being monitored and screened.

It said the personal protective articles include surgical mask, N95 mask, goggles or face shields, disposable caps, biohazard bags, hands sanitizers and powders air purifying respirators.