The Coronavirus conundrum: flu, common cold, seasonal allergies or covid-19 infection?

Dr Naveen Siddique Sheikh 10:06 PM | 31 Oct, 2020
The Coronavirus conundrum: flu, common cold, seasonal allergies or covid-19 infection?

The novel coronavirus is known to cause the covid-19 disease has infected 325,000 people in Pakistan and caused up to 6,700 deaths. The disease’s most predominant presentation is a respiratory illness consequently it can be confused with the common cold, the flu, and seasonal allergies. As we approach the Fall Season and the temperatures drop we are headed towards a period of utter confusion where every sneeze, cough, or sniffle will have us thinking ‘Is this the flu? Is this a common cold? Is it a seasonal allergy?’ or dare I say it; ‘Is it the coronavirus?’.

While the anxiety that comes from having these symptoms is justified, jumping the gun and self-diagnosing ourselves will not help anyone. The best course of action would be to reach out to your family physician if you experience any symptoms and then follow the protocol advised by him after a clinical diagnosis.

The chart below gives an idea of what symptoms to expect in relation to each disease and how you can tell apart the diseases based on their symptoms, however, a visit with the physician is a must, no self-diagnosing, and no self-medication! 

Sources: CDC, NIH, Mayo Clinic.

Symptoms that are unique to Covid-19, by contrast, include a new onset or recently developed loss of taste and smell, which has been experienced by 85% of infected people as reported by a recent study. The study also cited that 50% of the people who had Covid-19 experienced difficulty breathing as well. So if anyone in your family experiences these unique symptoms, it’s time to call your family physician.

Who are at a high risk of getting the Covid-19?

· Are over the age of 65

· Have cancer

· Have hypertension

· Have lung disease

· Have diabetes

· Have heart disease

· Have a condition which decreases their immunity

· Are taking medicines which decreases their immunity

What you can do to protect yourself against the virus?

· Wear a face mask

· Practice social distancing 

· Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Alternatively, use a hand sanitiser with a high alcohol content (more than 60%).

· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

· Stay home if you are sick.

· Cover your mouth while coughing or sneezing.

· Disinfect high contact surfaces before using them.

While we wait for a vaccine to arrive or herd immunity to be reached, the best way to live our lives would be to adjust to the ‘new normal’ and practice the prevention protocol.


KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on February 4, 2023 (Saturday).

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 279.9 283.2
Euro EUR 300.98 301.58
UK Pound Sterling GBP 337.01 337.71
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.14 75.44
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.55 73.85
Australian Dollar AUD 189 192
Bahrain Dinar BHD 712.72 720.69
Canadian Dollar CAD 200 202.2
China Yuan CNY 39.67 39.73
Danish Krone DKK 39.33 39.73
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 34.19 34.54
Indian Rupee INR 3.28 3.39
Japanese Yen JPY 2.5 2.54
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 878 887
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 62.83 63.43
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.25 175.25
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.79 27.09
Omani Riyal OMR 696.08 704.08
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 73.62 74.32
Singapore Dollar SGD 204 206
Swedish Korona SEK 25.61 25.91
Swiss Franc CHF 291.69 294.19
Thai Bhat THB 8.15 8.30

KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 205,200 on Saturday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs175,930.

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs167,318 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 195,157.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Karachi PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Islamabad PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Peshawar PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Quetta PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Sialkot PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Attock PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Gujranwala PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Jehlum PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Multan PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Bahawalpur PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Gujrat PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Nawabshah PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Chakwal PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Hyderabad PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Nowshehra PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Sargodha PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Faisalabad PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Mirpur PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430


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