Aga Khan University Rejects Reports of 745 Coronavirus Cases
CLAIM: Based on an anonymous tip, a Facebook page with 93,000 followers posted an alleged witness account claiming there are 745 registered cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi.
FACT: According to the World Health Organisation, the most reliable source for information regarding confirmed cases of COVID-19, there are only 5 confirmed cases of the virus in Pakistan as of 2 March 2020. All of the cases were imported from other countries.
On 2 March 2020, ‘UoK- All Confessions’ posted the anonymous witness account pictured above, alleging the cover-up of 745 cases of COVID-19 at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi. The Facebook page with 83,000 likes and 93,000 followers did not respond to requests for verification or more information.
Pakistan confirmed its first two cases of COVID-19 on 27 February 2020 when the Minister of Health Zafar Mirza tweeted out an official confirmation. Two cases of the virus were imported to Pakistan by travellers who contracted it in Iran. Three further cases have been confirmed as of 2 March 2020, according to the World Health Organisation’s daily situation report on the global COVID-2019 outbreak from today.
The World Health Organisation prepares a daily situation report on the outbreak which covers the spread of the virus across the world and confirmed number of cases in every country, along with daily updates on the developments surrounding the global containment of the virus.
The post also alleged that doctors at the hospital were under strict instructions disallowing them contact with the media. Soch can confirm that doctors at the hospital have regularly responded to our requests for statements, interviews, and information regarding the outbreak for our previous coverage on the virus. The hospital has also set up a media portal specifically dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak.
Summary: There are 5 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pakistan as of 2 March 2020, according to various sources including the ministry of health and the World Health Organisation. Viral posts reporting hundreds of registered cases are false and misleading.