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Updated 11 October 2021

If you’re feeling unwell and suspect that you have been infected with COVID-19, or if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, the Pakistani government has laid out steps you can take to keep you and your family safe. 

Here’s what you should know if testing positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

According to the Pakistani government, the main symptoms of COVID-19 to look out for are as follows:

  • Fever. Having a fever means your body’s temperature is at 37.5 degrees Celcius or higher.  Your body feels hot to the touch, especially on the chest or back area. This is a common sign which may appear in two to ten days following the infection.
  • Coughing. Continuous coughing for more than an hour or three or more coughing episodes within 24 hours. If you’re already prone to coughing, the episodes may be worse than usual.
  • Shortness Of Breath. Around one out of every six people who are infected with COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and exhibits difficulties in breathing or shortness of breath.

While there are other symptoms, the above-mentioned are the main ones to look out for according to the Pakistani government. It can take up to 14 days for these symptoms to manifest.


When should I take a COVID test?

If you’re exhibiting symptoms or suspect that you may have been exposed to someone who has contracted COVID-19, you are urged to visit a government-designated public or private hospital. All hospitals and tertiary care hospitals across the country are equipped to provide COVID-19 testing. 

During your hospital visit, you will be examined by a doctor and checked for symptoms to determine. You’ll also be asked a series of questions regarding your travel history as well as of those you may have been in close contact with.

If it is determined that the suspicion of coronavirus is unfounded, you will be sent on your way, but if the doctor comes to the conclusion that the patient is manifesting symptoms, you will be tested for COVID-19 free of charge.


Where can I get tested in Pakistan?

Government facilities around the country are equipped to test residents for COVID-19. Here are the facilities categorized by province.


  • Advanced Diagnostic Centre – Karachi
  • Aga Khan University Hospital – Karachi
  • Chughtai Lab, Karachi
  • Dow University of Health Sciences, Ojha – Karachi
  • Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital – Karachi
  • Ziauddin Hospital – Karachi
  • Indus Hospital – Karachi
  • PNS Shifa – Karachi
  • SIUT – Karachi
  • Drive-through testing facility – Karachi
  • Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences – Khairpur
  • Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences – Hyderabad


  • Provincial Public Health Reference Lab (PPHRL), PHSD
  • Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital – Lahore
  • Pakistan Kidney And Liver Institute – Lahore
  • Nishtar Hospital – Multan
  • Chughtai Testing Lab
  • National Institute of Health – Islamabad
  • Institute of Public Health – Lahore
  • Allied hospital – Faisalabad
  • Civil Hospital – Bahawalpur

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

  • Khyber Medical University – Peshawar
  • Hayatabad Medical Complex – Peshawar
  • Ayub Teaching Hospital – Abbottabad
  • Saidu Teaching Hospital – Swat
  • Mufti Mehmood Memorial Teaching Hospital – DI Khan
  • Rehman Medical Institute – Peshawar
  • North West General Hospital – Peshawar
  • Anwar lab – Peshawar


  • Fatima Jinnah Hospital – Quetta

Azad Jammu and Kashmir

  • Abbas Institute of Medical Sciences – Muzaffarabad
  • Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahayan Hospital (CMH) – Rawalakot
  • Divisional Headquarters Hospital – Mirpur

Gilgit Baltistan

All district hospitals in the area are equipped to collect samples which are then sent to a lab in Gilgit or Skardu for testing


What if I test positive for COVID-19?

Residents of Pakistan who have tested positive for the viral infection may self-isolate in their homes providing the symptoms are mild. Hospital treatments are reserved only for those requiring medical help. 

If you’re isolating at home and symptoms such as fever, coughing, and shortness of breath start to manifest, the government recommends you contact your doctor and follow their advice. If the symptoms worsen, you are free to visit the hospital and receive proper treatment.

According to the Pakistani government, this SOP would “ensure control of the disease and reduce the burden on the healthcare system.”

The period of home isolation is determined by the competent medical authorities. 


What is the guideline of home isolation in Pakistan?

As outlined in the official guideline, a confirmed case of COVID-19 must limit their contact with other people as much as possible and only venture out should there be an urgent need. Maintaining a distance of six feet when tending to an urgent business must be observed at all times. 

Other necessary precautions include frequent hand sanitizing and cleaning frequently touched objects and surfaces. The following are also essential to your home quarantine:

  • Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces within your home ,e.g. door handles, switchboards etc
  • Do not give your mobile phone to any of the household members. If the need arises, properly clean and disinfect it
  • Stay informed about the local outbreak situation.
  • Notify your health condition at your work (adopt work from home)
  • Avoid having any unnecessary visitors.
  • Take additional precautions for those at higher risk, particularly older adults and those who have
    severe underlying health conditions.

Your home isolation period can be completed if:

  • You’ve gone for at least 72 hours without a fever without the aid of a fever-reducing medicine
  •  Symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath have subsided

Remember to keep track of your symptoms; should your condition deteriorates, head straight to the nearest hospital or healthcare facility.