Islamabad: A Chinese man suspected to have contracted the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been admitted to a hospital in Pakistan’s Multan city, the National Institute of Health (NIH) said.
Multan and South Punjab’s Focal Person for Epidemic Diseases Atta ur Rehman said on Saturday that the 40-year-old man, Feng Fen, was shifted from the Chinese camp in the Industrial Estate to Nishtar Hospital on Friday night.
The man had returned to Pakistan from Wuhan 10 days ago, Dawn news reported citing Rehman as saying.
“One suspected case is admitted in isolation in Multan right now. His clinical condition is stable and it does not seem to be a case of novel coronavirus. Relevant samples have been taken,” the NIH said in a statement.
It also clarified that no case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Pakistan yet.
The respiratory virus has claimed 41 lives since emerging from a seafood and animal market in Wuhan. It has infected over 1,200 people in China and been detected as far away as the US.
Animals are suspected to be the primary source of the outbreak, with Chinese health officials saying the virus originated from a market where wild animals were illegally sold.
Studies published this week suggest that the virus may have originated in bats or snakes.
The virus has caused alarm because of its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed nearly 800 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
Like SARS, it can be passed among people through the respiratory tract.
The first case of the new virus was confirmed on December 31, 2019.