• Staff Writer

US official with virus symptoms arrives; Kyrgyz national tests positive

ISLAMABAD: An official of the United State, who reached Pakistan on Saturday, was declared a suspected patient of Covid-19. Moreover, a resident of Kyrgyzstan, who was staying with a tablighi jamaat in Islam­abad, has been infected with the virus.

“We are aware of reports of a Covid-19 case related to an embassy employee in Islamabad. Due to privacy concerns, we are not able to share additional information,” a US diplomatic source told Dawn.

When this embassy employee arrived at the Islamabad airport on March 21, he was showing signs of illness, the source said, adding “the employee is currently being evaluated”.

An official of the Ministry of National Health Services, requesting anonymity, said the official was identified as a suspect of Covid-19 due to which he was separated from other passengers.

“However, he could not be shifted to the hospital as embassy officials approached and assured officials that they can keep him in quarantine,” he said.

According to a document available with Dawn, the 19-year-old official arrived by flight number 632 of Qatar Airways and in the “Personal Declaration of Origin and Health” form he mentioned his address as “United States Embassy”.

While replying to questions, the official mentioned that he had 101 degrees Fahrenheit temperature when he landed at the airport.

Meanwhile, according to a doctor of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, a resident of Kyrgyzstan has tested positive for coronavirus.

“The patient was staying in Bhara Kahu, Islamabad, with the tablighi jamaat,” he said.

The mosque, in which the suspect was staying, has been sealed and information is being gathered about people who came in contact with him.

Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2020