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First suspected case of coronavirus in Pakistan's Sindh province

PTI | Karachi | Updated: 04-02-2020 14:59 IST | Created: 04-02-2020 14:59 IST
First suspected case of coronavirus in Pakistan's Sindh province

A suspected case of deadly coronavirus has been detected in Pakistan’s Sindh province in an engineering student who has been quarantined by authorities following his return from China. Shahzaib Ali Rahuja, a petroleum engineering student at a Chinese university situated around 1,000 kms from Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, returned to the country from China via Qatar, his brother Irshad Ali said.

“He returned to Karachi on Saturday night on our insistence and unable to take a direct flight he came via Qatar on Saturday. They screened him at the airport in China and also in Karachi but he showed no problems. It was after returning home that he developed a fever and cough and took some medicines but when his nose started to bleed we rushed him to the hospital," he said. The brother posted a video on social media, showing him sitting on a hospital bed and bleeding from the nose in a government hospital in Pir Jo Goth near Khairpur.

In the video, the brother claimed that doctors have locked them up in a ward and refused to treat his brother. “They left us alone after suspecting that Shahzaib had contracted the coronavirus,” he claimed.

He said that after his video went viral, the health authorities took Shahzaib to the civil hospital in Khairpur and it was decided to send him to Karachi for screening and treatment as doctors said they didn’t have required facilities in Khairpur. The provincial health authorities have now put him in an isolation ward in the Civil Hospital in Khairpur.

Sindh Health Minister Azra Fazal Pechuho, however, told media that Shahzaib had shown no symptoms of the coronavirus and it was too early to diagnose his condition. Several Pakistani nationals stranded in coronavirus-hit China started arriving home as Pakistan on Monday allowed flights to and from China.

The move came as dozens of airlines halted flight services with China and governments increasingly barred entry to anyone who has recently visited the country. As many as 30,000 Pakistanis are based China, and more than 500 nationals were believed to be in Wuhan.

The first flight from China landed in Islamabad airport on Monday with some 235 passengers, including 11 Chinese nationals, after the government allowed resumption of flights after a suspension lasting few days. The death toll in China's coronavirus rose sharply to 425 with 64 deaths on Monday and the number of those infected with the deadly disease rose to 20,438, Chinese health authorities said on Tuesday.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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