VEHARI: Fashion designer Maria B’s cook tested negative for coronavirus on March 26, a few days after he was admitted to the DHQ hospital here, claimed the hospital medical superintendent (MS) on Sunday.

MSDr Faazil told Dawn that the 30-year-old domestic help of the Lahore-based designer had been admitted to the Vehari DHQ Hospital on March 22 after his test for coronavirus from a private lab in Lahore had come out positive.

When the patient returned to his hometown in Mauza Hasan Shah in Mailsi tehsil the same day, security agencies shifted him to the isolation ward of the Vehari DHQ hospital. His samples had been sent to the Institute of Public Health lab in Lahore for another test for coronavirus, and the result came out negative on March 26.

Dr Faazil said the patient did not show any symptoms of the virus, adding that he would be discharged from the hospital after report of his last test was received from Lahore in the next 24 hours.

The 30-year-old patient worked as a cook at the residence of the designer in Lahore.

Earlier, Lahore police had arrested Maria B’s husband, Tahir Saeed, for sending their servant home to Vehari on public transport despite him testing positive for coronavirus. Later, Saeed was released on bail.

Dr Faazil further said that nine suspected patients of coronavirus were being treated at the DHQ hospital’s isolation ward, which had a capacity of 30 beds. He claimed that there was no positive case of the virus in the district yet.

The district administration has set up six quarantine centres in various parts of the district, including Burewala, Vehari, Tibba Sultanpur and Mailsi, with a capacity to accommodate 1,000 patients.

Published in Dawn, March 30th, 2020

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