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The dreaded coronavirus has spread its malignant tentacles far and wide, and has killed over 50 people so far. Now, four patients in the South Asian country of Pakistan could be infected by it.
Pakistan's National Institute of Health (NIH) has clarified that there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country, but four Chinese nationals have been hospitalised in Multan and Lahore for showing symptoms of the disease.
On Saturday, NIH chief Major General Aamer Ikram said a suspected patient had been admitted to the Nishtar Hospital, Multan and kept in the isolation ward after he showed symptoms of the disease including flu, cough and fever, reports The Express Tribune.
"His clinical condition is stable now and it does not seem to be a case of the novel coronavirus," he added.
Samples from the suspected patients have been taken and sent to China for confirmation as there are no laboratories in Pakistan equipped to diagnose the pathogen.
According to sources, the Chinese national travelled from China and reached Karachi on January 21. After landing in Karachi, he took a flight to Multan.
In Lahore, three Chinese nationals were admitted to the Services Hospital and shifted to the isolation ward.
According to hospital sources, the suspected patients were residents of the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, and had recently arrived in Lahore.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned that the spread of the deadly illness was accelerating.
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