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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Pakistan FM Qureshi tests negative on return from China; goes into self-isolation

Upon his return from China, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Qureshi announced that he was 'voluntarily' self-isolating himself for five days to give out a message.

Speaking about his visit to Pakistan amid the global Coronavirus outbreak, he claimed that it was for the "emotional support" during the difficult time.

"I am completely healthy, but a message needs to be given that we should follow the guidance provided by our experts. I'm not doing this for myself, but for the people surrounding me — my family, my friends. I am playing a responsible role and we should all do the same," Qureshi said at a press brief in Pakistan.

"They told me that when they were facing a difficult time, Pakistan stood with them. Now they said if you need our help, we will stand with you, shoulder to shoulder," Dawn quoted the Pakistani Minister. He further notified that the Chinese government offered Pakistan its expertise, assistance with medical supplies and protective gears.

Qureshi, along with Pakistan President Arif Alvi and the delegation that visited China earlier in the week tested negative for Coronavirus. The Pakistan delegation visited China to showcase its solidarity with the 'all-weather' friend, which was the epicentre of the virus.

Coronavirus in Pakistan: Pakistan on Wednesday reported its first two casualties due to the deadly coronavirus that has infected 301 people across the country. "Sad to report one patient who passed away in Mardan," Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra tweeted late Wednesday night.

Within two hours after the tweet, Jhagra again announced that a second coronavirus death was also reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The number of cases in the worst-hit Sindh province reached to 208 on Wednesday after 19 people in Karachi tested positive, said Meeran Yousuf, the media coordinator of the health and population welfare minister. She said the province recorded total 36 new cases on Wednesday.

Pakistan shares a 960-kilometre border with Iran, with the main crossing point at Taftan in Balochistan province. The Taftan border has been closed since March 16, but thousands of Pakistan Shia pilgrims who were visiting religious sites in Iran have been allowed to return subject to two weeks' quarantine.

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