Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday tested positive for the novel coronavirus and is self-isolating at home, his top aide on health, Dr Faisal Sultan said. Khan, 67, tested positive two days after he received the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. On March 18, the Prime Minister was administered the first dose of Sinopharm vaccine, the only available vaccine in Pakistan. Khan was vaccinated as part of the nationwide vaccination campaign, which is underway in its second phase.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr Sultan took to Twitter to confirm that Khan has contracted the coronavirus.
PM Imran Khan has tested positive for Covid-19 and is self isolating at home— Faisal Sultan (@fslsltn) March 20, 2021
Khan's spokesman Dr Shehbaz Gill said that the prime minister has just a slight fever and cough.
Supporters and ministers of Khan started sending messages of goodwill soon after the news of his diagnosis was shared with #ImranKhan becoming the top trend on Twitter.
Minister for Science Fawad Chaudhry said that the people of Pakistan are praying for their leader. "May God return him to good health soon." Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi said that the premier will recover soon and be back to work "in a flash".
The Pakistani PM was vaccinated during the inoculation process in the country in which people over 60 years of age are receiving the vaccine dose. However, he had reportedly shown symptoms of COVID-19 on the same day that he was administered the first dose of the vaccine.
After getting the first dose of the vaccine, Khan stressed that people across the country should follow the standard operating procedures to fight against the third wave of COVID-19 in the country, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Pakistan officially launched its National COVID-19 Immunisation Program across the country in early February, shortly after receiving the Chinese government-donated Sinopharm vaccine. On Wednesday, they sent the second consignment of vaccines after which the vaccination drive was opened to senior citizens in the country.
On Monday, Pakistan President Arif Alvi and his wife Samina Alvi also received their COVID-19 vaccine doses with the Sinopharm vaccine in Islamabad.
Pakistan on Thursday had imposed lockdowns in areas worst hit by the coronavirus, as the country recorded a sharp increase in the number of positive cases. All markets, shopping malls, offices, and restaurants will remain closed in the areas of smart lockdown. However, grocery stores, hospitals, pharmacies, bakeries, meat and milk shops were be allowed to remain open.
According to the Johns Hopkins University's coronavirus tracker, Pakistan has so far reported 623,135 cases and 13,799 deaths.
With PTI inputs