Coronavirus: Pakistan tightens screening for passengers as Covid-19 cases rise to 16.


Citizens and residents are urged to avoid traveling abroad due to the spread of Covid-19.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Tuesday confirmed that nine new cases of coronavirus have emerged in Karachi, taking the total number of cases in Pakistan to 16.

In a tweet, Dr Zafar Mirza said that all the confirmed cases were contacts of an already confirmed case. Further contacts are being traced and tested, he added.

Dr Zafar Mirza said that government has extended its extraordinary emergency measures and federal government with the collaboration of all provinces is stepping up health screening checks at all entry points to address the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Talking to private news channel, he said travellers coming from Iran and Iraq were carefully screened, and flights were reduced to limit mobility as a precautionary measure.

Health authorities in all four provinces have issued precautionary guidelines cautioning people to avoid meeting people returning from coronavirus-affected countries, washing hands frequently and wearing masks, he added.

He added that if any travellers were suspected of carrying the virus, they would be checked at health screening rooms and then referred to the medical team handling infectious diseases for further investigations.

Zafar Mirza said measures have been taken to screen passengers effectively in a hassle-free manner in order to avoid any delay or inconvenience at the ports of entries.

He further said equipment to screen passengers for coronavirus symptoms have been installed at all travel points. All passengers including transit passengers are being screened.

He further said enhanced screening measures have been put in place for travellers entering the country from high-risk countries like Iran and Iraq.

He urged citizens and residents to avoid traveling abroad due to the spread of Covid-19 in multiple countries.

Mirza added, country 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.

“Scanners have been installed at airports and land ports in the country for those coming from abroad,” he said.

We are actively screening patients to ensure we do not miss any case, he added.

“Round-the-clock monitoring is being done and emergency measures are in place to tackle the disease”, Zafar said.

The government has tested samples around 360 suspected patients across the country, he added.

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