Pakistani coronavirus survivor hails Saudi King for medical treatment

This file photo shows a general view of King Faisal Hospital in Taif on Jan. 17, 2013. (Photo courtesy: Christina Shiju George)
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Updated 08 April 2020

Pakistani coronavirus survivor hails Saudi King for medical treatment

  • Five expat Pakistanis are treated for the virus in the Kingdom, says Ambassador Raja Ali Ejaz
  • Saudi Arabia announced free treatment for all COVID-19 patients on March 30

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani coronavirus patient, who recently recovered from the infectious respiratory illness in Saudi Arabia, thanked King Salman for ensuring free medical treatment for everyone suffering from the contagion in the Kingdom.
“I consider myself fortunate to be alive. I am thankful to King Salman since his decision made it possible for me to get excellent medical treatment at the King Faisal Hospital in Taif without spending anything,” Muhammad Shoaib told Arab News on Tuesday.
“I went to Riyadh for work 10 days ago and got sick while traveling back to Taif. I was taken to the King Faisal Hospital where I tested positive for COVID-19,” he said through a video statement from Taif, adding that he had fully recovered from the infection due to excellent care he received at the hospital.
Saudi Arabia on March 30, announced free treatment for all COVID-19 patients, irrespective of their nationality and legal status, in both public and private health care facilities in the Kingdom. The virus has killed more than 35 people in the Kingdom while more than 2,600 cases have been registered so far.
“There are five confirmed Pakistani cases of coronavirus in the Kingdom, and they are all getting medical attention at different hospitals. Fortunately, there have been no fatalities in our diaspora community so far,” Pakistan’s Ambassador to the Kingdom Raja Ali Ejaz told Arab News via telephone on Tuesday.
He added that the mission was in contact with various Saudi ministries to get the latest updates from them about the Pakistani community.
The envoy expressed satisfaction on the timely measures taken by the Saudi authorities to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
“I would especially like to thank King Salman for his keen interest in providing free treatment to all expatriates, including Pakistanis, who are affected by this virus,” he said.
Ejaz added that Pakistan’s embassy and consulate were doing their best to remain in touch with the Pakistani community through social media, website and dedicated helplines.
“We are trying to benefit from different electronic means since physical movement is restricted due to the imposition of curfew in all major cities.”
On the issue of stranded Pakistanis, he said that the country’s diplomatic mission was trying to send about 300 Umrah pilgrims to their country, adding that the embassy was also trying to address the issue of about 700 Pakistani workers who were not in the Kingdom when its authorities decided to suspend international flights.
“The embassy is cognizant of the problems faced by Pakistanis employed in private companies. We are in constant contact with the Saudi state institutions and private companies for the resolution of the issue,” Ejaz said.


Over 165,000 volunteers combat virus spread as Pakistan’s virus tally soars

Updated 19 min 1 sec ago

Over 165,000 volunteers combat virus spread as Pakistan’s virus tally soars

  • About 1 million volunteers responded to government’s recent call, says “Corona Relief Tiger Force,” head
  • Pakistan’s virus tally reached 93,983 on Saturday with 1,935 reported deaths

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan reported 97 more coronavirus deaths on Saturday, the highest 24-hour increase to its fatalities, as authorities urged volunteers to motivate people to adhere to social distancing regulations to contain the spread of the virus.
According to Usman Dar, who heads the “Corona Relief Tiger Force,” about 1 million volunteers have signed up recently in response to the government’s call to help the country’s most vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak.
He told reporters that 165,348 volunteers are currently assisting authorities to contain the spread of the virus.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the volunteers will also be used to deliver food and medicine to needy and poor people if needed.
Pakistan also reported 4,734 new virus cases, raising its overall infections to 93,983.
With the latest 97 virus-related deaths, Pakistan’s overall fatalities have jumped to 1,935.