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A paramedic wearing protective gear takes a nose-swab sample to be tested for the coronavirus in Karachi. — Reuters/File

Experiencing Covid-19 symptoms? Here is how you can get tested for the virus in Pakistan

A step-by-step guide on where to go, what to expect and how to get your symptoms checked.
Updated 27 Nov, 2020 07:30pm

After getting through the first wave of the novel coronavirus in relatively better shape than most countries across the globe, Pakistan is now struggling to cope with the second wave, which is proving to be more lethal than its predecessor.

Over the past two weeks, hospitalisations due to Covid-19 have doubled across the country. Additionally, officials have revealed that the positivity rate — the number of tests that turn out to be positive — and mortality rate — the number of people who die from the virus — have increased.

Also read: 'Has the virus mutated? When is a vaccine expected in Pakistan?': Your questions about the second wave answered

The World Health Organisation, as well as medical experts, have been urging authorities across the globe to increase testing capacity in order to effectively curb the spread of the virus, along with the imposition of other measures including social distancing, hand-washing and mask-wearing.

Who can get tested?

Government hospitals with testing facilities are only conducting tests of people who are experiencing symptoms, have recently come in contact with a Covid-19 patient or have recently travelled abroad.

Commons symptoms of the virus include — but are not limited to — dry cough, breathing difficulties, loss of taste and smell and fever. If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, visit a doctor at a designated facility, who would decide if you should get tested for Covid-19.

Patients will also be asked about their recent travel history and if they have recently come into contact with a known Covid-19 patient.

At private hospitals and laboratories, however, people without any of the prior conditions can get tested. A swab sample is collected from the patient's nose or throat, which is then tested for the Covid-19 virus.

In order to help people who are experiencing symptoms and would want to get tested for the virus, Dawn.com has put together a list of hospitals and laboratories across the country that are providing testing facilities.

Sindh

  • Advanced Diagnostic Centre (Karachi)

  • Aga Khan University Hospital (Karachi)

  • Chughtai Lab (Karachi)

  • Children Hospital (Karachi)

  • Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital (Karachi)

  • Dr Ziauddin Hospital (Clifton, North Nazimabad and Keamari campuses, Karachi)

  • Dr Essa Laboratory & Diagnostic Centre (Karachi)

  • Hashmanis Lab (Karachi)

  • Indus Hospital (Karachi)

  • Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (Karachi)

  • Liaquat National Hospital & Medical College (Karachi)

  • Dow Ojha Campus (Karachi)

  • PNS Shifa (Karachi)

  • SIUT (Karachi)

  • South City Hospital (Karachi)

  • LUMHS Hospital (Hyderabad)

  • Chanda Medical College (Larkana)

  • Ghulam Muhammad Mahar Medical College (Sukkur)

  • GIMS (Khairpur)

  • Syed Abdullah Shah Institute Sehwan (Sehwan Sharif)

You can also get contact details of hospitals providing testing facilities here. Sindh residents can also call the helpline 9123 to get information and guidance regarding Covid-19.

Punjab

  • Punjab Reference Lab

  • Punjab Forensic Science Lab (Lahore)

  • Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (Lahore)

  • Jinnah Hospital (Lahore)

  • Lahore General Hospital (Lahore)

  • TB Control Lab (Lahore)

  • University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences (Lahore)

  • Institute of Public Health (Lahore)

  • Centre for Applied Molecular Biology, Punjab University (Lahore)

  • Mughal Labs (Lahore)

  • University of Lahore (Lahore)

  • Testzone (Lahore)

  • Doctors Hospital and Medical Centre (Lahore)

  • Hormones Lab (Lahore)

  • Lab Genetix (Lahore)

  • Al Nasar Lab & Diagnostic Centre (Lahore)

  • Hameed Latif Hospital (Lahore)

  • Shalamar Hospital (Lahore)

  • Surgimed Hospital (Lahore)

  • Rawalpindi Medical University (Rawalpindi)

  • Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Hospital (Rawalpindi)

  • Bahria International Hospital (Rawalpindi)

  • Temar Lab (Rawalpindi)

  • Care Lab (Rawalpindi)

  • Allied Hospital (Faisalabad)

  • ABWA Hospital and Research Centre (Faisalabad)

  • TB Lab (Multan)

  • Nishtar Hospital (Multan)

  • Bakhtawar Amin Medical College and Trust Hospital (Multan)

  • Al Khidmat Hospital (Multan)

  • Trauma Centre (Wazirabad)

  • Civil Hospital (Bahawalpur)

  • Bio Lab, Khawaja Muhammad Safdar Medical College (Sialkot)

  • Pak Medical Centre (Sialkot)

  • Chughtai Lab

  • Shaukat Khanum Hospital

  • Citi Lab

  • Al Khidmat Foundation

  • Aga Khan University Hospital

  • National Institute of Health

  • Genome Centre for Molecular-based Diagnostics & Research

  • Rahila Labs

  • Venus Diagnostics

  • Healthways Lab

  • Horizon Lab

  • Innova Lab

Punjab residents can also call the helpline 1033 for information and guidance regarding Covid-19.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

  • Khyber Medical University (Peshawar)

  • Hayatabad Medical Complex (Peshawar)

  • Khyber Teaching Hospital (Peshawar)

  • Rehman Medical Institute (Peshawar)

  • Northwest General Hospital & Research Centre (Peshawar)

  • Saidu Teaching Hospital (Swat)

  • Ayub Medical Complex (Abbottabad)

  • Aga Khan Centre (Upper Chitral)

  • District Headquarter Hospital (Kohat)

KP residents can also call the helpline 1700 for information and guidance regarding Covid-19.

Balochistan

  • Fatima Jinnah Chest and General Hospital (Quetta)

  • Bolan Medical College (Quetta)

  • District Headquarters Hospital (Turbat)

  • District Headquarters Hospital (Khuzdar)

  • TB Lab (Khuzdar)

  • Public Health (Taftan)

  • Mobile Diagnostic Unit (Gwadar)

Islamabad

  • Pakistan Institute Of Medical Sciences

  • National Institute of Health (NIH)

  • IDC

  • Biotech

  • Biogene

  • Shifa International

  • Excel Labs

  • Global Clinical Care Diagnostic Centre

  • Temar Diagnostics

  • Margalla Diagnostics and Clinics

  • Kulsum Intl Hospital

  • Maroof Hospital

  • Nayyab

  • Medikay Pvt limited

  • Akbar Niazi Teaching Hospital

  • Shaafi Hospital PWD

  • Metropole Laboratories

  • Capital Diagnostic Centre

  • Advanced Diagnostic Centre

  • MedAsk

  • IHITC Lab

Government hospitals across the capital are equipped to collect samples, which are then sent to NIH for testing.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir

  • Abbas Institute of Medical Sciences (Muzaffarabad)

  • Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahayan Hospital (Muzaffarabad)

  • Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahayan Hospital (Rawalkot)

  • Divisional Headquarters Hospital (Mirpur)

A lab at District Headquarters Hospital in Kotli is expected to start functioning within the next 10 days.

Gilgit Baltistan

  • DHQ (Gilgit)

  • CMH, Army (Skardu)

  • TB Lab (Chalas)

What to do if you test positive

The federal government, in its guidelines to provinces, has 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.

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 symptoms worsen.

You can also visit the National Command and Operation Centre's website for more information about testing facilities as well as quarantine centres and designated tertiary care hospitals.