No diagnostic testing facility available for monkeypox in Pakistan: health ministry


Test tubes labelled Monkeypox virus positive are seen in this illustration taken May 22, 2022. — Reuters
Test tubes labelled “Monkeypox virus positive” are seen in this illustration taken May 22, 2022. — Reuters
  • Federal Ministry of Health, National Institute of Health refute reports of suspected cases of monkeypox in Pakistan.
  • Health ministry says efforts to procure testing kits are being made.
  • Says experts can declare patients as suspected cases by examining symptoms.

ISLAMABAD: Amid risks of an outbreak of monkeypox in Pakistan, the officials of the federal health ministry said that currently there is no facility of diagnostic tests for the virus present in the country.

The officials said that the government is trying to procure testing kits for the National Institute of Health, Islamabad (NIH). However, they said that the samples can be sent abroad for testing in case of an emergency.

The officials said that given the circumstances, the health experts can declare a patient as a suspected case by examining the symptoms.

They further stated that Aga Khan University and other health organisations are also trying to procure the testing kits.

The health experts said that the monkeypox virus is tested through a PCR machine similar to the diagnostic tests for COVID-19.

‘No suspected cases reported’

Meanwhile, the health ministry officials said that no suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported as yet in Pakistan.

NIH also issued a statement refuting the reports of suspected cases of the virus, saying that the news circulating on social media is “incorrect.”

“The National Institutes of Health (NIH), Islamabad clarifies that NO case of Monkeypox, has yet been diagnosed in Pakistan. The news circulating on social media about monkeypox cases is incorrect. The situation is being closely monitored by the health authorities,” NIH wrote on Twitter.



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