ISLAMABAD: Pakis­tan reported another case of monkeypox on Monday, two days after a woman tested positive.

The victim, a 50-year-old male who arrived from Kuwait to Islamabad, tested positive for the virus, taking the total number of cases to five.

The patient was identified as a suspect of monkeypox (mpox) at the Islamabad Airport and referred to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), according to hospital sources.

Pims Spokesperson Dr Haider Abbasi told Dawn that the patient’s sample was taken on Monday and sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH) for testing. The results confirmed that it was a positive case.

“The patient belongs to Faisalabad and was currently in an isolation ward,” Dr Abbasi said, adding that his condition was stable.

He will be discharged once tested negative for the disease.

The authorities are tracing persons who might have come in contact with the patient and they will be kept in isolation as well until tested negative for the virus, Dr Abbasi told Dawn.

Pakistan is yet to report a locally-transmitted mpox case and all cases reported so far have been passengers who arrived in the country from the Middle East.

Ministry of National Health Services Spokesperson Sajid Shah said the ministry has already ordered strict monitoring at the entry points to ensure to identify potential virus carriers.

“There is no evidence of local transmission of the disease and people should not panic at all,” he said.

On Saturday, a 19-year-old woman, who had arrived from Saudi Arabia, was tested positive and admitted to the isolation ward of Pims.

Last week, the total number of mpox cases in Pakistan led to a contention between the National Institute of Health (NIH) and National Health Services Parliamentary Secretary Dr Shazia Soomro.

While the NIH had put the total number of cases at three, Dr Soomro, who belongs to PPP, told lawmakers in the National Assembly that only two cases were reported.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2023

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