Sindh CM calls for purchase of 5000 COVID-19 test kits as confirmed cases reach 5 in Pakistan

Karachi, Sindh, PakistanUpdated: Mar 04, 2020, 03:44 PM IST
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File photo. Photograph:(PTI)

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On Tuesday, Pakistan confirmed its fifth case of coronavirus amid strict safety measures to contain the spread in the country.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has ordered his Cabinet officials to purchase 5,000 coronavirus test kits, following the confirmation of the second coronavirus case in Karachi and surfacing of multiple suspected cases in the country.

Shah, while chairing a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, said that 53 tests for coronavirus cases from Sindh have been so far been conducted, of which only two have been confirmed, Express Tribune reported

."The government has released Rs 100 million for adopting preventive measures and to deal with any emergencies [pertaining to coronavirus cases," he was quoted as saying.

The provincial government also ordered the closure of all educational institutions and released Rs 100 million for the coronavirus emergency fund to combat the virus.

According to health officials, the Sindh government has purchased 40,000 imported surgical facemasks from a private firm. Authorities have also started disseminating audio and text messages in English, Urdu and Sindhi languages among the general public to raise awareness about the virus.

On Tuesday, Pakistan confirmed its fifth case of coronavirus amid strict safety measures to contain the spread in the country."We have now the fifth confirmed case of COVID19 in federal areas.

The patient is stable and is being managed well," Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, Zafar Mirza told Geo News. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the patient is a 45-year-old woman from the northern mountainous region of Gilgit Baltistan, who arrived from Iran a few days ago.

Despite the surging cases, the federal cabinet today rejected the Ministry of Health`s proposal for declaring a "health emergency" in the country to tackle the virus. The cabinet in its meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, emphasized on strengthening coordination between provinces to increase awareness about the virus among the people, said Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, Firdous Ashiq Awan, while speaking to the media after the meeting on Tuesday.

The disease that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan last year has triggered panic around the world after it killed 3,100 people around the world (mostly in China) and affected more than 80,000 around the world.