Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza on Wednesday has rubbished reports claiming that the number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan were being understated due to the ongoing Pakistan Super League matches.
“The reports of the government hiding the total number of confirmed cases of the virus in Pakistan are 100 percent false,” Mirza said while talking to reporters in Islamabad.
“The government has also initiated a strategy to tackle the possible spread of dengue in Pakistan.”
“Every little case of the common cough or flu should not be mistaken for the coronavirus,” he noted. “If people get alarmed and concerned at every little illness, there will soon be a panic in the country,” he said.
“Pakistan has thankfully managed to contain the pandemic to some extent because of the preventive measures put in place by the government. This is why we managed to contain the spread compared to other world nations”, Mirza added.
“More than 200 people have been tested for the virus across Pakistan. Five were tested positive and their condition is improving by the day,” he added.
The adviser on health said that the federal government was working with provincial authorities to better coordinate the response to the possible spread of the pandemic in the country.
“Scanners have been installed at airports and land ports in the country for those coming from abroad,” he said.
Mirza added that people should remain optimistic about the future. “We are ready for any kind of emergency,” he affirmed.
Speaking on the closure of schools, Mirza said that the health ministry had not advised the government to shut down schools in the country.
“Schools in Islamabad are not closed. However, we do not have any objections to the decisions of some provincial governments to close the schools in their jurisdictions.” he clarified.
He was also questioned about Pakistani students who are in China, particularly in Wuhan, where the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, named COVID-19, was first reported.
To wich, Mirza repliewd that the government was constantly in touch with these students and was doing whatever it could for their well being in coordination with the Chinese government.
He also said that they had not been brought back as Pakistan was respecting the regulations of the Chinese government.
He further added that there was no restriction on those who were outside China’s Hubei province.
“We think that one result of these policies is that this virus hasn’t spread in Pakistan the way it has in other countries,” Mirza said.