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 the cases in Pakistan increased to 21 on March 13.
To help people who feel like they might have the symptoms, Dawn.com 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 coronavirus 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 coronavirus. At the hospital, a doctor will check the patient for symptoms to determine if he or she may have coronavirus, 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 coronavirus, 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 coronavirus testing equipment. This testing will be done free of cost, said Ikram.
Facilities collecting coronavirus samples:
Please note the facilities below are only sending samples for free testing to the main centres and will not conduct tests themselves on individual requests.
However, some private labs are also independently testing individuals for the virus against a fee.
Services Hospital - Lahore Nishtar Hospital - Multan Benazir Hospital - Rawalpindi
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
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 District Health Offices (DHOs) all over the province
In Gilgit-Baltistan, citizens can contact district health authorities who will come to their homes to collect samples
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Police Services Hospital has been made the main centre for dealing with coronavirus cases