Prime Minister Imran Khan Has Tested Positive For The Novel Coronavirus, Dr Faisal Sultan, His Aide On Health, Confirmed On Twitter.

Prime Minister Imran Khan Has Tested Positive For The Novel Coronavirus, Dr Faisal Sultan, His Aide On Health, Confirmed On Twitter. The news comes two days after the premier received his first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. His diagnosis was also later confirmed by the Prime Minister’s Office. At the time he had appealed to the nation to ensure compliance with all standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent the spread of Covid-19 amid an intensifying third wave, his office quoted him as saying.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Health Services clarified that the premier was not “fully vaccinated” when he contracted the virus. “He only got the first dose merely two days ago which is too soon for ANY vaccine to become effective. Antibodies develop 2-3 weeks after the second dose of 2-dose Covid vaccines,” it said. PM Imran, 68, has been holding regular and frequent meetings lately, including attending a security conference held in Islamabad that was attended by a large number of people.

He addressed the conference without wearing a mask, and attended another gathering to inaugurate a housing project for poor people in a similar fashion on Thursday. Yesterday, the premier had visited Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where he toured Malakand University, inaugurated a new academic block and addressed a gathering of students. He had also visited the Swat Motorway, where he inaugurated the Swat Expressway Tunnels.

PM Imran was also slated to interact with the public via telephone calls on Sunday (tomorrow), in an event similar to one organised in February. However, PTI Senator Dr Faisal Javed announced that a new time and date will be announced soon. “Due to PM Imran testing positive for Covid-19, a new date for live interaction with public will be announced soon. Lots of prayers for everyone and PM Imran.” He added that PM Imran was experiencing “mild symptoms” and will continue to work from home over video conferencing. Special Assistant to Prime Minister Shahbaz Gill added that PM Imran’s symptoms were not sever and he had a “mild cough and fever”.

‘This country needs you’

Soon after the news broke of his diagnosis, Twitter began flooding with a host of messages from politicians, celebrities and citizens, wishing him a speedy recovery. Within a couple of minutes, #ImranKhan became the top trend on the social media website. Some government ministers also jumped to dispel questions over the efficacy of the coronavirus vaccine while some urged the nation to remain vigilant in light of a third wave. Wishing the prime minister a speedy recovery, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said: “The symptoms take a few days before manifesting. Hence it is certain that prime minister had been infected prior to vaccination. So please do vaccinate.”

Gill added that the premier was tested for the coronavirus earlier today and urged the nation to refrain from linking his diagnosis with getting vaccinated. “Immunity develops a few weeks after getting vaccinated. Be sure to vaccinate your elders and loved ones,” he said. Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar said that the vaccine develops “more than 80 per cent immunity” two weeks after the second injection. “Further, no cabinet minister, including the prime minister, nor any of their relatives jumped the queue or violated the priority order to receive the vaccine,” he said.

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar prayed for PM Imran’s speedy recovery but also urged citizens to remain cautious in light of a third Covid spike. “Recent spike in #Covid-19 cases and positivity rate is alarming and we all need to be extra careful and strictly follow safety protocols!!”

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wished PM Imran a quick recovery and good health. Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said: “The people are Pakistan are praying for their beloved 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”. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health and Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra said: “Prayers for the speedy recovery of the Prime Minister Imran Khan. This country needs you.”

This news was originally published at Dawn.