• Local English daily had claimed student quarantined at private Karachi hospital under strong suspicions of coronavirus had ‘conclusively tested negative for the disease

Sindh health officials have rebutted a media report claiming that the first case of coronavirus in Pakistan, which was reported in Karachi last week, “had turned out to be a hoax” as the 22-year-old patient, who was quarantined at a private hospital under strong suspicions of coronavirus, had “conclusively tested negative for the disease”.

According to The News, Karachi University (KU) student Syed Muhammad Yahya Jafri had recently returned from Iran and developed symptoms of influenza.


“The symptoms, coupled with the fact that he had recently returned from Iran, made the doctors and senior provincial health management prematurely declare him as the first case of coronavirus in Pakistan without receiving his final lab reports wherein he tested negative for the virus,” the report had said.

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It had quoted KU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Khalid Mehmood Iraqi as confirming that Jafri’s medical and laboratory reports “clearly indicated he was not suffering from coronavirus”.

“Jafri and his family members who were quarantined by Sindh’s Health Department at a private hospital were discharged on Friday,” he was quoted as saying, adding that a large number of students, including Jafri’s classmates at the varsity’s Department of International Relations, were also tested in the same hospital. “None of them were found affected by coronavirus.”

The claims were, however, refuted by Sindh Health Secretary Zahid Abbasi, who said that the youngster was being kept in isolation after testing positive for coronavirus.

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He maintained there was no truth to Iraqi’s claim and the student would be discharged from the hospital after he would test negative.