Claim: Rumours are spreading on social media claiming Pakistan’s first confirmed coronavirus patient has been released from Aga Khan University Hospital.

Fact: The patient is still admitted at Aga Khan University Hospital. 

Social media has been inundated with misinformation and disinformation since news of the 2019 Novel coronavirus outbreak spread in December 2019. 

On 26 February 2020, the Sindh Health Department announced Pakistan’s first case of coronavirus, or COVID-19. The infected patient is admitted to Aga Khan Hospital. Shortly after, Special Minister to the Prime Minister for Health Dr Zafar Mirza confirmed Pakistan’s first two cases of COVID-19, assuring citizens that the situation is under control and there is no need to panic.

On 27 February 2020, a WhatsApp message began circulating, claiming the patient admitted to Aga Khan Hospital was released at 8:30am and he was not infected by COVID-19. The message claims that sources at Aga Khan Hospital have confirmed this news. 

Soch has redacted the name of the patient.

Dr. Faisal Mahmood, an associate professor specializing in infectious diseases at the Aga Khan University Hospital told Soch this claim is untrue and the patient is still admitted to the hospital.

What is COVID-19? 

A coronavirus is a common organism that causes an infection in the nose, sinus or upper throat. COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has not been identified previously. The respiratory virus was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, those who have fallen ill are reported to suffer coughs, fever and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, it can lead to organ failure or death. Since it is a viral disease, antibiotics are ineffective.

Summary: The first patient infected with COVID-19 in Pakistan is still admitted to Aga Khan University Hospital. 

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