ISLAMABAD (AP) — A top Pakistani health official said Thursday that Islamabad had no immediate plan to evacuate any of some 30,000 nationals living in China to study and work, despite the new coronavirus that surfaced there.
Zafar Mirza, who advises Prime Minister Imran Khan on health issues, told a news conference that so far only four Pakistani students in China have been diagnosed with the new virus and their conditions are listed as stable.
He said about 500 Pakistani students were in Wuhan — the site of the outbreak — at the time it surfaced. He said although the virus has killed 170 people in China, authorities in Beijing have done a good job of containing it by taking swift measures.
China has been largely praised for its response to the outbreak. Still, some Pakistani students have complained on social media that they haven’t received enough food and medical care.
Mirza asked relatives of Pakistanis in China not to worry, saying they were being looked after well. He said no decision had been made to evacuate Pakistanis there.
Mirza said the virus might have spread more rapidly internationally if Beijing had not opposed requests made by different countries to evacuate their citizens. “We support China on this policy,” he said.