Pakistan’s first coronavirus patient has “recovered and his tests have now come out as negative”, Sindh chief minister’s spokesperson confirmed on Friday.
“Very happy to inform that the 1st corona virus patient in #Sindh who was being attended to has recovered and his tests have now come out as NEGATIVE,” Senator Murtaza Wahab said in a tweet.
A spokesperson for the Sindh health department said it was confirmed 10 days ago that the patient was infected with coronavirus following which he was kept in isolation where he was being treated.
However, after thrice testing negative for the virus over the past 24 hours, it was confirmed that the young man had recovered. He has showed no coronavirus symptoms over the past 48 hours, the spokesperson added.
Permission to release the now-recovered patient from the hospital was approved and he would be discharged tomorrow evening, the official said.
On the other hand, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah congratulated the patient and his family, according to his spokesperson, and said: “This is our huge accomplishment.
“I congratulate my entire team,” Shah added, according to his spokesperson.
A day prior, SAPM on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza had confirmed the sixth case of coronavirus in Sindh.
In a tweet, he had said: “The patient is in clinically stable condition in Sindh and is being well taken care of.”
Late last month, Pakistan had confirmed its first two cases of coronavirus in Karachi, with Dr Mirza saying they were “being taken care of according to clinical standard protocols” and that there was “no need to panic [as] things are under control”.
‘Do not spread this information’
Dr Mirza had at that time spoken of medical ethics and stressed not to “share information of the patient”.
“I request you that even if you know, do not spread this information,” he had said. “Both of them travelled to Iran recently and I think it is necessary to tell the people that we should not panic.”
The SAPM had informed people that a helpline — 1166 — had been set up for coronavirus patients. “Please don’t hesitate to call the number,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Sindh health department had noted that the 22-year-old patient — Pakistan’s first case — had arrived in an aeroplane from Iran and had a history of travel to Tehran from where he reportedly contracted the virus.
He was suffering from coronavirus symptoms while he was in Iran, it mentioned.
Screening machines may not have worked
The young man and his family had been immediately placed in quarantine at a private hospital on the National Stadium Road and the provincial health department sent a team to inspect his residence and neighbourhood.
His condition had reportedly started to deteriorate on February 18 and he underwent a hijama, or cupping therapy, at a local health centre in Iranian city of Mashhad. After that, he suffered from a headache.
He had arrived in Karachi on February 20, indicating that there were chances that the thermal screening machines at the airports for those entering the country may not have worked after all.
The machines are supposed to immediately detect higher-than-usual body temperature.
3,100 deaths reported globally
The virus has so far entered 76 countries and claimed more than 3,100 deaths and infecting over 80,000 people around the world ever since it began spreading from the wet markets of Wuhan in China.
As a precautionary measure, the Sindh government had directed all schools, colleges, universities, tuition centres and other educational institutions to remain closed till March 13.
The provincial government suspended several schools’ registrations for staying despite orders from the Sindh government.