Faisal Edhi, the chairman of Edhi Foundation, on Tuesday tested positive for Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
"The whole world is facing the coronavirus pandemic. And health workers the world over are helping hundreds of thousands of people affected by this virus," said Faisal Edhi, who is also son of Edhi Foundation founder Abdul Sattar Edhi, in a video message.
"I've also tested positive for the coronavirus," said Faisal, who had been on the forefront in the fight against the pandemic which has infected nearly 10,000 people in Pakistan since February 26.
"There is no need to worry. A lot of people contract this virus and recover. I'm sure I'll also recover," he added in the video message.
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"I also want to send a message to hundreds of thousands of other corona-positive people not to worry because 80% of Covid-19 patients are asymptomatic and don't even know they have contracted the virus," he said.
"In 15-20% cases, the patients develop symptoms - and in some cases it could become dangerous," he added. "Still there is no need to panic. The world will fight this pandemic and in the end humanity will emerge victorious."
Faisal called upon volunteers and workers of the Edhi Foundation not to worry about his Covid-19 test. "The Edhi Foundation work shall not be affected in any way. I'll recover and will soon be amongst you to be part of the anti-virus battle," he said while directly addressing his workers.
Earlier, Edhi Foundation spokesperson Mohammad Bilal and his son Saad Edhi also confirmed Faisal has tested positive, saying that the Covid-19 test was conducted on April 20 at Shifa International Hospital in Islamabad.
Saad told The Express Tribune that his father, along with him and another person, was in the federal capital for the past one week and started showing symptoms of Covid-19 five days ago. He then got himself tested at Shifa International Hospital on April 20 and the results came out positive, he said.
Faisal Edhi, who had also met Prime Minister Imran Khan five days back, has put himself in self-quarantine at Edhi Home in Islamabad.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2020.