DESPARDES — Pakistani envoy to China said that local hospitals are better equipped to treat the deadly coronavirus, and therefore, unlike some other countries, Islamabad will not be evacuating its students amid the outbreak.
Pakistan’s hospitals “do not meet the standards required to treat a patient diagnosed with coronavirus,” Naghmana Hashmi said on Sunday, as cited by local outlet Geo News.
China, on the other hand, has “the best medical facilities to handle the patients suffering from the disease,” the envoy stated. Hashmi said that Islamabad is working closely with Chinese officials to ensure that Pakistani students stay safe in Wuhan, the city in central China’s Hubei Province that was the epicenter of the outbreak.
According to official statistics, more than 500 Pakistanis are studying in various universities of Wuhan, which has been put under quarantine, while the total number of Pakistani nationals in China is between 28,000 and 30,000.
The envoy added that the four Pakistanis diagnosed with the virus were recovering. She rejected the reports that the embassy was not receiving phone calls, and that stranded students had no food and water.
Pakistani Health Minister Zafar Mirza said earlier that Islamabad will not be “just copying a few other countries” that have decided to pull their citizens out of China. “We want to act responsibly in order not to become a reason for global spread of #Coronavirus,” he wrote on Twitter, adding that the World Health Organization currently does not recommend evacuation.