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FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi to be tested for Coronavirus after China visit

Foreign Minister of Pakistan goes into self-quarantine, says he plans to be tested for coronavirus after visiting China.

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Pakistan’s foreign minister on Wednesday went into self-quarantine as a precautionary measure against coronavirus upon returning from an official visit to China, said an official statement.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi Qureshi will also be tested for coronavirus, said the statement by his office.

“Experts have advised that I go into isolation and take a coronavirus test after five days,” Qureshi said, adding that he is also in isolation from his family.

Qureshi, as part of Pakistani President Arif Alvi’s delegation, visited China this Monday and Tuesday to show solidarity with Chinese leadership after the COVID-19 outbreak.

Alvi, the first head of state to visit Beijing after coronavirus hit the world’s most populous nation, met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, and National People’s Congress Chairman Li Zhanshu.

Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar and other top Foreign Ministry officials were also part of the delegation, but so far there has been no official statement saying Alvi or other members of his delegation would go under quarantine.

Coronavirus in Pakistan

Pakistan on Tuesday confirmed the nationwide tally of confirmed coronavirus cases to 236, with 142 new cases reported in the previous 24 hours.

Health officials said the new cases were reported in the northeastern Punjab, southern Sindh, and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) provinces.

Most of the new patients had recently returned from neighboring Iran, which has the highest number of cases and deaths after China and Italy.

Read more: Pakistan’s civil military leadership formulates policy against Coronavirus

The virus emerged in Wuhan, China last December, and has spread to at least 163 countries and territories. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak a pandemic.

Out of over 197,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 7,900, while more than 81,000 patients have recovered, according to Worldometer, a website that compiles new case numbers.

Anadolu with additional input from GVS News Desk.