'No coronavirus case reported in Pakistan'
Lawmakers express solidarity with people and China in times of epidemic
ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers in the upper house of the parliament expressed solidarity with the government and people of China, facing a novel coronavirus outbreak as the leader of the house claimed that there is no coronavirus case reported in Pakistan.
“No case of coronavirus has been reported so far in the country,” Leader of the House Shibli Faraz said on Friday while speaking on a point of public importance in the Senate.
The novel coronavirus outbreak which intensified in mid-January has deepened, killing more than 630 people in China. It has infected around 31,000 people so far.
The virus is believed have emerged from a market selling exotic animals in Wuhan city of China’s Hubei province before jumping to humans and spreading across China and abroad as millions travelled for the Lunar New Year holiday.
The virus has since spread across China, prompting the government to lock down cities of tens of millions of people, and panic has spiraled around the globe as more than 240 cases have emerged in two dozen countries.
Talking with reference to Pakistan’s preparations to deal with any possible case, Shibli Faraz said: “A comprehensive strategy has been worked out to cope with coronavirus and the government and all the stakeholders are monitoring the screening system at airports.”
Faraz said all possible steps are being taken to deal with the coronavirus and the government is ready to tackle with any emergency situation.
He said an emergency operation cell, established at the Ministry of National Heath, Services and Regulations, has been observing the situation. “Separate wards have been set up at hospitals to deal with cases of coronavirus, if any.”
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The lawmaker said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Pakistan Embassy in China are actively monitoring the situation of coronavirus outbreak and also are continually informing parents of the Pakistani students in China.
Pakistan last week announced not to evacuate its citizens mostly students in China fearing a spread of disease to Pakistan the rest of the world.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati assured full support from the people, government and Senate to the Chinese ambassador in Pakistan to fight the deadly coronavirus.
The senators who spoke on the issue included Javed Abbasi, Mustaq Ahmed, Sitara Ayaz, Mushahidullah Khan, Ghafoor Haideri, Behramand Tangi, Dilawar Khan, Mushahid Hussain Syed and Nauman Wazir.
They suggested that the government form a committee of the parliament to review the efforts against the deadly virus.
The legislators said that a strong massage should be conveyed from the Senate that all the senators are ready to cooperate with the Chinese government on the issue.
(With additional input from APP)