As more cases of coronavirus emerge in China, the Pakistani embassy reassures its citizens that it is working to ensure their safety.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui told SAMAA TV on Saturday that the health of Pakistani citizens in China was their top priority.
The Pakistani community and students in Wuhan were advised by the embassy on Friday to remain vigilant and adopt hygiene practices as instructed by the Chinese Health Ministry.
The embassy “would continue remaining in touch with community members and Pakistani students in Wuhan. In case of any reports of viral infection in members of Pakistani community/students, it is requested to cooperate with local health authorities and share immediately the complete information with Pakistan’s Embassy in Beijing,” said a statement on the embassy’s website.
Several Pakistani students in China have appealed to the government to arrange their evacuation from the country.
In a video message to SAMAA TV, PhD student Nasir Jamal said the whole province of Wuhan was under lockdown. All modes of transport, including flights, trains, subways and buses, had been stopped. No one was allowed to leave the province.
There are around 28,000 Pakistani students in China, according to official estimates from the Foreign Office.
Chinese authorities are taking measures to stop the spread of the virus. A 1,000-bed hospital is being constructed on an emergency basis in Wuhan. The death toll from the new coronavirus has reached 41 while 1,200 cases have been confirmed, according to the health authorities.
The virus has rapidly spread over the globe with cases reported in France, Australia, US, Singapore, Thailand, Nepal, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea and Taiwan, reported the BBC.
In Pakistan however, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said that no case of coronavirus has been confirmed in the country so far. Screening of travellers from China is being carried at different airports in the country.
“In response to the coronavirus outbreak, surveillance in all major entry points to Pakistan have been strengthened considerably. I visited Islamabad Airport tonight to personally observe the work of our health workers,” tweeted Dr Mirza on Saturday morning.