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Health

February 2, 2020

NIH starts analyzing samples for coronavirus

Health

Sun, Feb 02, 2020

KARACHI: The Lab Division experts of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad have started analyzing the samples for novel Coronoavirus after kits containing primers and probes for the diagnosis of the virus reached the health facility  on Saturday night, officials said on Sunday.

"At the moment, we are running controls and are in the process of assay optimization after we got hold of primers and probes from a source yesterday night. From Monday, we would start analyzing the samples for Coronoavirus, which we received from different areas of the country", an official of the NIH Islamabad told The News.

National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad officials said they have received six samples of suspected patients from Karachi, Lahore and Multan in recent days and were awaiting primers and probes from different sources to analyze these samples.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza also confirmed through his tweet on Sunday that NIH now has the capability to diagnose Coronavirus and lauded the institute's leadership and team for their hard work and efforts in this regard.

NIH's Lab division officials said it would take 24 to 48 hours in analyzing the samples and to confirm whether these suspects were infected with novel Coronoavirus 2019-nCoV or not.

Officials said the samples they had received from Lahore, Multan and Karachi were either of the Chinese citizens with history of travelling to China in January 2020 or the Pakistanis who had justed returned from China.

They said they had got the primers and probes manufactured from Hong Kong while they were also expecting kits containing primers and probes from Japan to arrive at NIH on Monday.

Some other institutions like Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) Karachi and Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) are also in the process of acquiring primers and probes to analyze and diagnose samples for Coronavirus.