A step-by-step guide on where to go, what to expect and how to get your symptoms checked.

The threat of coronavirus is growing globally and six cases have already been reported in Pakistan.

To help people who feel like they might have the symptoms, Public Hours reached out to health officials to understand the process through which one can be tested for the virus for free.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • A patient suspecting they are manifesting symptoms of corona-virus should visit a government designated public or private hospital. According to National Institute of Health (NIH) official Dr Mumtaz Ali Khan, all district headquarter hospitals and tertiary care hospitals across the country are equipped to collect samples for corona-virus.
  • At the hospital, a doctor will check the patient for symptoms to determine if he or she may have corona-virus, according to NIH Executive Director Maj Gen Aamir Ikram.
  • The patient will be asked a set of questions regarding their travel history as well as of those they have been in close contact with.
  • If the doctor rules out suspicion of corona-virus, the patient will be sent back.
  • If the doctor comes to the conclusion that the patient is manifesting symptoms, a swab of their saliva is taken and sent to one of the designated facilities that have corona-virus testing equipment.
  • This testing will be done free of cost, said Ikram.

Facilities collecting corona-virus samples:

Please note the facilities below are only sending samples for free testing to the main centers and will not conduct tests themselves on individual requests.

However, some private labs are also independently testing individuals for the virus against a fee.

Punjab

  • Services Hospital – Lahore
  • Nishtar Hospital – Multan
  • Benazir Hospital – Rawalpindi

AJK

  • Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan Hospital – Muzaffarabad
  • Abbas Institute of Medical Sciences – Muzaffarabad
  • Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan Hospital – Rawalakot
  • Divisional Headquarters Hospital – Mirpur
  • District Headquarters Hospital – Kotli

Sindh

  • Chandka Medical College Hospital – Larkana
  • Ghulam Muhammad Mahar Medical College – Sukkur
  • Peoples Medical University Hospital – Nawabshah
  • Civil Hospital – Karachi
  • Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre – Karachi
  • Lyari General Hospital – Karachi
  • Indus Hospital – Karachi
  • Aga Khan Hospital – Karachi
  • Dow University of Health Sciences, Ojha – Karachi

GB

  • In Gilgit-Baltistan, citizens can contact district health authorities who will come to their homes to collect samples

KP

  • In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Police Services Hospital has been made the main center for dealing with corona-virus cases

In addition to these facilities, citizens can visit their nearest public tertiary healthcare center or district headquarter hospital for screening.

Published on Public Hours March 6th, 2020

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