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January 29, 2020

Pak Red Crescent asks China to help in detection of Coronavirus

National

January 29, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan lacks the capacity to detect and diagnose the "novel Coronavirus" and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has approached the Chinese Red Cross to urgently provide the primers (chemicals), used for the isolating the Coronavirus that has wreaked havoc in China.

“Being a neighboring country with close business and friendly relations with China, Pakistan is very concerned about the emergence of Coronavirus and the deaths due to it. We want to prevent this lethal virus from entering into our country and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society is ready to play its role,” said Abrar-ul-Haq, renowned singer and Chairman, Pakistan Red Crescent Society while addressing a hurriedly-called press conference at Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Tuesday. Accompanied by Kanwar Waseem, Secretary of the PRCS Sindh, Abrar-ul-Haq said despite reporting of some suspected cases of Coronavirus from Multan and Karachi, no confirmed case has been reported anywhere in Pakistan but due to frequent traveling between Pakistan and China, Pakistan is at a high risk of importing this lethal virus from China.

“There is no system of detection of this deadly virus in Pakistan and no cure or vaccine is available against it either and it is our responsibility to prevent its import into the country,” Abrar said. “We have requested them to help us in acquiring the technology and primers for the detection of Coronavirus,” he added. To a query, the PRCS chairman said Pakistani citizens and students in China have been "quarantined" but were safe and in good health.

He said awareness is the most effective tool to prevent the spread of deadly Coronavirus. Abrar-ul-Haq maintained that Pakistan Red Crescent Society has mobilized its volunteers throughout Pakistan for generating awareness about preventive measures, training people for precautionary measures, to avoid contracting flu and similar viral ailments, helping hospitals in establishing isolation rooms and wards and providing the necessary supportive medicines and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the staff. “The Pakistan Red Crescent Society will establish quick response units at all its provincial centers to assist the provincial governments and local health authorities in dealing with any emergency while a helpline would also be established,” he said.

Abrar asked people to use the social media to spread awareness about precautionary measures against the risk of Coronavirus infection by adopting basic protocols like covering nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing, using masks, washing hands regularly and avoiding pet animals as much as possible. With these steps, he said the people can safeguard themselves from contracting the Coronavirus, which spreads through nasal and oral droplets. He said “we have been informed that this virus shows symptoms similar to flu and influenza including fever, coughing, and difficulty in breathing but this lethal virus also causes pneumonia-like illness which damages the lungs and in serious conditions, patient even die”, he said and added it is being considered as a major global health issue.