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A health worker checks a woman's temperature amid coronavirus fears, at a counter at the Cantonment railway station in Karachi. — Reuters

Here's how you can get checked for coronavirus in Pakistan

A step-by-step guide on where to go, what to expect and how to get your symptoms checked.

Updated 24 May, 2020 07:08pm

Since December last year, the coronavirus has spread nearly all over the world, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths as countries ramp up testing capacities to identify patients and bring the disease under control.

Members of the medical fraternity insist that that the war against Covid-19 can only be won by increasing testing capacity, isolating infected individuals and equipping the healthcare staff with proper protective gear.

“We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test.”

These are the words of Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organisation.

Read: 'Don't fear Covid-19, get yourself tested': Hyderabad patient shares his recovery journey

How to get checked

To help people who feel like they might have the symptoms, Dawn.com reached out to health officials to understand the process through which one can be tested for the virus for free.

Here's what you need to know:

Facilities conducting tests for coronavirus

Sindh

Medical staff members take information from a resident sitting in a car for a coronavirus test at a drive-through testing facility in Karachi. — AFP
Medical staff members take information from a resident sitting in a car for a coronavirus test at a drive-through testing facility in Karachi. — AFP

Punjab

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Balochistan

Azad Jammu and Kashmir

Gilgit Baltistan

In addition to these facilities, citizens can visit their nearest public tertiary healthcare centre or district headquarter hospital for screening.

What to do if you test positive

The federal government in its guidelines to provinces said that patients showing mild symptoms of the virus would be isolated at their homes while only those requiring medical help would be treated at hospitals.

According to standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the federal health ministry, the move to isolate these patients at home would help "ensure control of the disease and reduce the burden on the healthcare system".

The guidelines advise patients to limit contact with other people and maintain a distance of six feet if they do need to go out. They also advise patients to take all the necessary precautions and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces they touch.

However, patients are advised to visit hospitals if their symptoms worsen.

"You should not hide this disease at all. The sooner you get help, the safer you will be," said Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, appealing to people — especially those who have underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart or kidney problems — to "immediately" come to hospital as soon as they get ill.