ISLAMABAD: Diagnostic tests for the novel coronavirus are being conducted free of cost in Pakistan, said Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Saturday. 

“Throughout the country, diagnostic tests of the coronavirus are being carried out free,” he said, pointing out that eight government laboratories had been provided coronavirus kits.

Dr Mirza said that the kits were provided to the labs free of cost and no fees were charged for conducting coronavirus tests. “Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world that can produce its coronavirus kits,” he said.

The prime minister’s special assistant said that 25 hospitals across the country had been designated to treat patients suffering from the virus.

His statement comes shortly after Pakistan reported two new cases of the infection, taking the tally of infected persons throughout the country to 30. A woman in Islamabad, who had recently arrived from the US, was diagnosed with the virus. The second case of the virus has emerged in Karachi, taking the tally of infected persons to 16 in the province.

Another two coronavirus cases emerge in Pakistan 

Two new cases of the infection emerged in Pakistan today (Saturday), one from Sindh and another from Islamabad.

According to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) officials, the patient from Islamabad, a 30-year-old woman, had arrived in Pakistan from the US a few days ago.

The officials added that the woman’s condition was critical and she had been placed on a ventilator. The woman was brought to PIMS from a private hospital.

The other patient had arrived from Saudi Arabia a few days ago in Karachi and had tested positive for the coronavirus.

“The patient arrived from Saudi Arab a few days back and was tested positive today. This brings the total number of cases to 16 in Sindh out of which 2 have recovered and sent home and 14 are under treatment,” said a statement by the provincial health department. 

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