​About CO​​VID-19 ​​


1) What is COVID-19?
​COVID-19 is the official name of the disease caused by the virus SARS CoV-2, formerly known as Novel Coronavirus. This is a new strain from the coronavirus family.

2) How does SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) spread?
SARS CoV-2 spreads through droplets which are released when people sneeze or cough.

3) What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, body aches and breathing problems. With new strains, the disease may present with other symptoms as well such as sneezing, runny nose, sore throat etc. ​

4) How long is the incubation period for COVID-19?
Incubation period is the time between catching the virus and when the symptoms of the disease start appearing. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range between 1 and 14 days.

5) How do I know if I have COVID-19 and not regular cold or flu?
The only way to know if you suffer from COVID-19 is through a special lab test.

6) Can COVID-19 be treated with antibiotics?
No. COVID-19 is caused by a virus and antibiotics only work on bacterial infections.

7) How serious is COVID-19?
COVID-19 usually causes a mild to moderate respiratory (lung) infection; however, it may lead to severe pneumonia (lung infection), organ failure and can be fatal, especially in the elderly or those who are immunocompromised or have other chronic diseases. ​​

Protection from COVI​​D​​​-19

1) What precautionary measures should I take regularly?​
  • Wear a mask to cover your face and mouth outside your home. 
  • Also wear a mask at home if there is a COVID-19 suspected or confirmed patient around.
  • Regularly wash your hands, especially after sneezing or coughing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth without first washing your hands.
  • Follow cough/sneeze hygiene practices (cough or sneeze in a tissue or your elbow/ sleeves) and discard used tissues appropriately in the dustbin; do not reuse.
  • Avoid large gatherings or attend while wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance from others.
2) ​How can I increase my immunity against COVID-19?
  • Get vaccinated for COVID-19; keep up with your boosters.
  • Have a balanced diet that includes vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat, and lentils.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid processed or fried food.
  • Sleep 7 to 8 hours every night.
  • Exercise regularly. 
  • Do not smoke.

3) Should I wear a mask? 
You should wear a mask if you are sick yourself with cold/ flu-like symptoms or are outside the home in an area where there are others around you. The N-95 mask is only needed if you are a healthcare staff working specifically in Intensive or Special Care Units or carrying out aerosol-generating procedures. ​

4) What precautionary measures should I take when I return home from outside?

Always wash your hands immediately after you return home. If you have to visit a hospital or a crowded place, like the supermarket, take a shower and change your clothes. ​​

About the ​Aga Khan U​​niversity Hospitals' role in fighting CO​​VID-19 in Pakistan​​

1) What did the leadership and experts at the Aga Khan University Hospital do before the outbreak of COVID-19 in Pakistan? 
Our expert scientists and clinicians in public health, infectious diseases, emergency medicine, internal medicine,​ and family medicine began researching, studying, assessing and learning about the disease outbreak, first from China and then other countries as the disease spread there. This they used to prepare for the outbreak in Pakistan and make disease projections.

The hospital leadership, together with the academic and clinical experts, began proactively planning for the disease outbreak in Pakistan, collaborating with other leading international health organisations as well as sharing emerging knowledge and technical information with the Government Health Agencies in Pakistan.

2) What role did the Aga Khan University Hospital play when the first suspected case of COVID-19 surfaced?
  • Our Clinical Laboratory Experts made the first PCR based testing kits for COVID-19 diagnosis available.
  • We prepared and were ready to accept some of the first patients who tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Infection Control Experts began putting previously prepared patient management protocols into action. 
  • Family Medicine doctor and nurse specialists were able to begin screening and testing patients who initially came to us.
  • Procedures and processes were implemented to support very sick patients suspected of COVID-19 and who needed highly specialised care.
3) What is the Aga Khan University Hospital doing for COVID-19 patients now?
The Aga Khan University Hospital is screening, testing, admitting and caring for as many COVID-19 patients as safely possible, limited by beds, appropriate space, equipment, and supplies. In February 2021, AKUH also became the first private hospital in Karachi to offer COVID-19 vaccinations under the government's free vaccination programme. Approximately, hundred thousand of people have received their vaccinations, completely free of cost, at our Main Campus. ​We are also assisting the government to vaccinate the elderly or otherwise immobile people at home. 

While doing so, we continue to offer services to patients who suffer from other serious and life-threatening medical conditions.
In such a pandemic, the volume of suspected and infected patients with varying levels of disease severity can surge and we continue to offer technical support to the Government-led national response.

The Aga Khan University Hospital also continues to work to advance our disease knowledge, processes, systems, protocols and patient flows which are being shared with the Government Health agencies, other healthcare institutions and professional bodies.

The University Hospital understands its role as one of knowledge building, training, and resources for other Hospitals and Healthcare Professionals to use and apply directly in caring for suspected or infected COVID-19 patients. In April 2020, AKU partnered with the Health Ministry to offer a range of trainings, tele-consultations, and assessment of ICU facilities across the country, aimed at supporting treatment for hospitalised, severely ill COVID-19 patients.

For M​​ore Informa​​tion​

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Website: ​​Visit the AKUH COVID-19 Website​
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AKUH 24/7 Contact Center: +92-21-111-911-911


  1. Safe Management of Dead Bodies of ​​COVID-19 Suspected or Confirmed ​Persons,2020 English​
  2. Safe Management of Dead Bodies of COVID-19 Suspected or Confirmed Persons,2020 Urdu​
  3. Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19,2020 English​
  4. Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19, 2020 Urdu
  5. COVID-19 Vaccination Government Forms ​Download Here
  6. Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccine Download Here