ISLAMABAD - First coronavirus suspect of Pakistan was detected yesterday in Multan, who was hospitalized in the Nishtar Hospital Multan.

National Institute of Health (NIH) collected samples of the coronavirus suspect, who is a Chinese national and reached Multan from Karachi airport after landing at the port.

The NIH said that it, however, does not has the capacity of testing these samples.

A statement released by the health ministry said that one suspected case of coronavirus is admitted in isolation in Multan and now the patient is stable.

“His clinical condition is stable and does not seem to be a case of novel coronavirus. Relevant samples have been taken,” the statement said, adding that there was no confirmed case of coronavirus in Pakistan so far.

Recently, an emerging Pneumonia outbreak has occurred in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, caused by a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The cases are spreading in many countries, including Japan, Thailand, Korea and United States, it said.

Reports said that the suspect admitted in Nishtar Hospital Multan aged 40 is a Chinese national who reached Multan from Karachi airport after landing in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, officials from the health ministry said that the country does not has the capacity of testing the samples taken as it does not has the specific kit needed to test the samples.

Official said that most probably samples taken would be sent to World Health Organization (WHO) for confirmation of the virus.

Earlier, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on NHS Dr. Zafar Mirza also denied confirmation of coronavirus in the patient.  

In his message on social media, Dr. Zafar Mirza said that reports of diagnoses of first novel coronavirus in Pakistan are incorrect.  

Earlier on Friday, Dr. Zafar Mirza had said the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) is expediting preventive measures in the wake of coronavirus outbreak in China, directing to establish a surveillance system with quarantined areas at all ports and entry points of the country.

Dr. Zafar reviewed the situation while presiding over a high-level meeting of the ministry, which was participated by heads of federal hospitals and health institutions. 

Dr. Zafar Mirza said that in wake of coronavirus cases in China, Pakistan was taking urgent pre-emptive measures to deal with the situation.

He directed to expedite the establishment of a robust surveillance system at all ports of entry before February 8, 2020 with quarantined areas. 

The SAPM monitored the situation in the Emergency Operations Centre established in the ministry, saying that a helpline to be established by next week for provision of information on the disease to the general public and health-care providers.

He also reviewed measures taken by major hospitals to receive possible cases of corona virus emphasized that all necessary arrangements be made to receive patients of the disease.    

Dr. Zafar Mirza directed that Thermo Guns be made available to screen passengers in addition to the thermo scanners.