PM Imran tests positive for Covid-19

Premier is isolating at home, has 'mild symptoms'


Our Correspondent March 20, 2021
PM Imran Khan. PHOTO: PID/FILE

Prime Minister Imran Khan has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, confirmed Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan on Saturday.

The news comes two days after the premier was vaccinated against the virus. However, the premier had received his first dose and not the second jab for the vaccine. Dr Sultan added that the premier is now isolating at home.

The Ministry of National Health Services also clarified that the premier was "not fully vaccinated" when he contracted the virus. The ministry added that only the first dose was administered, which is "too soon for any vaccine to become effective".

It further added that anti-bodies against the virus develop 2-3 weeks after the second dose of the vaccine is administered.

Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar also said that it was "certain" that the prime minister was infected prior to vaccination as Covid-19 symptoms appear a few days after exposure to the virus.

Praying for the premier's health, Umar urged people to vaccinate against the deadly pandemic.

PTI Senator Dr Faisal Javed said the prime minister was experiencing "mild symptoms" and will continue to work from home while remaining in isolation.

At the time of his vaccination, the premier had appealed to the nation to ensure full implementation of SOPs in view of the third wave of the pandemic.

The regions of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab have in recent days reported a sharp rise in the number of Covid-19 cases. The UK strain of the virus – more transmittable and reportedly more lethal – is sweeping across these areas as the country grapples with the third wave of the pandemic.

Prayers for quick recovery

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar prayed for the premier's quick recovery and said, "we all need to be extra careful and strictly follow safety protocols.

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said the "people of Pakistan are praying for their beloved leader".

Read: Covid-19 cases hit 8-month high in Pakistan

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra also prayed for the prime minister's quick recovery.

Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar also offered prayers for Imran's quick recovery.

 

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also wished PM Imran speedy recovery from the coronavirus.

 

Pakistan on Saturday recorded at least 3,876 confirmed Covid-19 cases, the highest in eight months. The country also recorded at least 42 fatalities from the virus in the last 24 hours.

Earlier, Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar had warned that stricter Covid-19 restrictions on activities might be enforced if the compliance of standard operating procedures (SOPs) did not improve.

"Sharp spike in covid positivity," the minister had said in a tweet."Hospital daily admissions & people in critical care rising fast. If sop compliance does not improve, we will be forced to place stronger restrictions on activities."

He had further urged the masses to remain careful as the new [UK] strain was more contagious and deadlier as compared to the Wuhan variant of the Covid-19 virus.

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