Pakistan has its first confirmed case of the coronavirus in Karachi. There has been talk about other cases of the deadly illness in the country, but this is the first time a patient has been confirmed as having the virus.
The patient is 22-year-old Yahya Jaffri, according to local reports. He returned to Pakistan from Iran after traveling there with his family on a pilgrimage. He landed in Karachi last week. The Sindh Health Department confirmed that he is the first case of the coronavirus in Karachi and Pakistan.
Jaffri and his family have been quarantined. A spokesperson for the department said provincial authorities are testing all the passengers who were on the same flight as Jaffri to see whether the coronavirus spread.
Dr. Zafar Mirza, special assistant to the prime minister on health, confirmed not just the first case of the coronavirus in Karachi, but also the second case. He tweeted that they were treating both patients according to “clinical standard protocols.” Both patients are said to be in stable condition.
It’s unclear who the second patient is and whether the person is a family member of Jaffri.
Sindh Information Minister said the provincial government was “working to procure the data of the infected” under Chief Minster’s orders
The Information Minister added that isolation wards were being set up in different hospitals around the province.
“We are taking the data of all the people who were travelling with the infected person on his flight,” he added. “There are three isolation wards in Sindh, one in Civil Hospital [Dr Ruth K. M. Pfau Civil Hospital], one in Jinnah [Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC)], and one in AKUH [Aga Khan University Hospital].
Pakistan shut its border with Iran earlier this week after the outbreak started to spread in the country. There have been more than 40 cases of the coronavirus in Iran so far. Pakistani authorities closed the Taftan border to stop pilgrims from traveling to and from Iran earlier this week.
They also started screening everyone who entered the country from Iran. Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan declared a health emergency in all the provincial districts bordering Iran over the weekend. However, the closing of the border has not impacted flights coming from Iran and landing in Pakistan.
Other countries in the Middle East have also closed their borders with Iran in an attempt to prevent the outbreak from making its way into their borders.