Pakistan at high risk as a mysterious deadly virus creates panic in China
The death toll from the virus rose to 17 on Wednesday and has spread to five countries, including the US.
The Coronavirus in China has caused alarm around the world, and Pakistan’s Health Ministry have ordered authorities to stay on high alert on Wednesday. Authorities will establish an emergency operation cell to monitor the situation.
A meeting held by Senior Officials, was chaired by PMs special Assistant on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza, and responsible measures against the virus were discussed. Officials decided to initiate a response mechanism in the wake of the recent cases of the Coronavirus emerging across China.
Similarity To SARS:
The public was alarmed because the Coronavirus has a striking resemblance to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed nearly 650 people across China in 2002-2003.
The death toll from the new SARS-like virus rose to 17 on Wednesday and has spread to five countries, including the US.
Dr. Zafar Mirza assured officials during the meeting that the directorate of the health ministry dealing with airport and port health services has taken over the situation. Authorities have been directed to ensure strict vigilance and checking of travelers coming from target areas.
Forty-two flights have been scheduled from China to Pakistan this week.
Authorities Say The Situation Is Being Monitored:
The Special Assistant to the PM said the situation is under control, and there was no need for panic. Regular updates to the public regarding the virus will be shared. The National Institute of Health Islamabad has issued an alert to all provincial health departments, especially at points of entry at all airports.
The health staff will stay on high-alert across the county for possible outbreaks of the virus.
Health commission vice-minister of China, Li Bin told a news conference in Beijing that the virus is spread through the respiratory tract, but there is a possibility of a viral mutation and further spread of the disease.