Health ministry issues alert on coronavirus as death toll rises to 9 in China

Published January 22, 2020
According to NHS, symptoms of the deadly virus range from fever, to coughing and difficulty breathing. — AP/File
According to NHS, symptoms of the deadly virus range from fever, to coughing and difficulty breathing. — AP/File

The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), Regulations and Coordination on Wednesday alerted the Disease Surveillance Division and Central Health Establishment to the possible spread of coronavirus in Pakistan.

China — where the virus originated from — has confirmed 473 cases of coronavirus, the People Daily newspaper said today.

The death toll remained at nine, the paper said.

The virus, which originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei at the end of last year and has spread to Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as the United States, Thailand, South Korea and Japan.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday that there may have been limited human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus in China within families, and it is possible there could be a wider outbreak.

The organisation has given guidance to hospitals worldwide about infection prevention and control in case the new virus spreads. There is no specific treatment for the new virus, but anti-virals are being considered and could be “re-purposed”, said Maria Van Kerkhove, acting head of WHO’s emerging diseases unit.

With Chinese New Year approaching on Jan 25, when many Chinese tourists visit Thailand, the WHO called on Thai authorities, the public and holidaymakers to be on alert.

According to the NHS, the notification has been issued in response to the international alert on the virus, which has spread from seafood and animals to humans.

Symptoms of the deadly virus range from fever, to coughing and difficulty breathing.

NHS has decided to establish coronavirus prevention counters at all airports. It has also been advised that people who recently visited China should also be tested for presence of the virus.

A vaccine for protection against the virus is yet to be developed.

Opinion

Editorial

IMF package
Updated 28 Jan, 2023

IMF package

While it is crucial to seek immediate IMF funding to shore up its reserves, the govt shouldn’t focus only on short-term relief.
Dar unpegged
28 Jan, 2023

Dar unpegged

IT is over. Nearly four months after Ishaq Dar descended on the cash-strapped economy with some decidedly outlandish...
Lurking hazards
28 Jan, 2023

Lurking hazards

OVERSIGHT of illegal industrial activity occurring within residential areas in the country is weak, especially in...
Election time
Updated 27 Jan, 2023

Election time

There are concerns whether the ECP will be sufficiently able to protect the integrity of elections if they are held under partisan governments.
SCO invite
27 Jan, 2023

SCO invite

THOUGH India’s invitation to Pakistan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation events in Goa later this ...
Call to arms
27 Jan, 2023

Call to arms

ONE way the state abdicates responsibility in Pakistan is by farming out its functions to the private sector. In ...