The threat of coronavirus is growing globally even as the numbers continue to decline in China, where the virus was originally reported.
In Pakistan, the federal government and the respective provincial governments have announced a number of measures to contain the spread of the virus.
Here’s what you need to know:
- A patient suspecting they are manifesting symptoms of coronavirus should visit a government designated public or private hospital. According to National Institute of Health (NIH) official Dr Mumtaz Ali Khan, all district headquarter hospitals and tertiary care hospitals across the country are equipped to collect samples for coronavirus.
- At the hospital, a doctor will check the patient for symptoms to determine if he or she may have coronavirus, according to NIH Executive Director Maj Gen Aamir Ikram.
- The patient will be asked a set of questions regarding their travel history as well as of those they have been in close contact with.
- If the doctor rules out suspicion of coronavirus, the patient will be sent back.
- If the doctor comes to the conclusion that the patient is manifesting symptoms, a swab of their saliva is taken and sent to one of the designated facilities that have coronavirus testing equipment.
- This testing will be done free of cost, said Ikram.
Facilities collecting coronavirus samples:
Please note the facilities below are only sending samples for free testing to the main centres and will not conduct tests themselves on individual requests.
However, some private labs are also independently testing individuals for the virus against a fee.
- Services Hospital – Lahore
- Nishtar Hospital – Multan
- Benazir Hospital – Rawalpindi
- Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan Hospital – Muzaffarabad
- Abbas Institute of Medical Sciences – Muzaffarabad
- Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan Hospital – Rawalakot
- Divisional Headquarters Hospital – Mirpur
- District Headquarters Hospital – Kotli
- Chandka Medical College Hospital – Larkana
- Ghulam Muhammad Mahar Medical College – Sukkur
- Peoples Medical University Hospital – Nawabshah
- Civil Hospital – Karachi
- Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre – Karachi
- Lyari General Hospital – Karachi
- Indus Hospital – Karachi
- Aga Khan Hospital – Karachi
- Dow University of Health Sciences, Ojha – Karachi
- District Health Offices (DHOs) all over the province
- In Gilgit-Baltistan, citizens can contact district health authorities who will come to their homes to collect samples
- In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Police Services Hospital has been made the main centre for dealing with coronavirus cases
In addition to these facilities, citizens can visit their nearest public tertiary healthcare centre or district headquarter hospital for screening.