Staff Reporter Islamabad
Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife First Lady Bushra Bibi on Saturday tested positive for the novel coronavirus, confirmed Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan.
Hours after the government had announced that the premier had contracted the virus, First Lady Bushra Bibi was also tested positive for coronavirus.
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.
Later, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s aide on health Dr Faisal Sultan on said that he has met the premier and he is “fit and doing well”.
His remarks came a few hours after he announced the premier has tested positive for coronavirus. “The best advice that we could give him was to stay at home, isolate, and rest,” he said.
“We are monitoring his clinical parameters, and medical treatment will be given to him if required,” Dr Sultan said, adding: “Right now, there is no need for any treatment, as such.”
Dr Sultan said the government is in touch with people the premier met over the last few days.
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.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday wished Prime Minister Imran Khan a speedy recovery from coronavirus, hours after the premier tested positive for the virus.
The India PM, taking to Twitter, said: “Best wishes to Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI for a speedy recovery from Covid-19.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan has reported 3,876 fresh cases of Coronavirus over the past 24 hours, the highest since July last year. The last time the country reported more cases than this was on July 2, 2020, when 4,432 cases were recorded.
Following is a breakdown of the number of cases reported in each province and federal territories over the past 24 hours, according to official data:
Sindh reported 293 cases, Punjab 2,033, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 681, Balochistan 16, Islamabad 747, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir 106.
The positivity rate is hovering at the brink of double digits (9.5pc), the highest it has been since July, when Pakistan was in the throes of its first virus wave.
Vaccination centres for Pakistan’s ongoing Covid-19 inoculation campaign will remain closed on Sundays and public holidays such as March 23, according to a notification from the National Command and Operation Centre.
“People are advised not to visit centres on Sundays and other public holidays,” said the notification, adding the decision was taken to give relief to frontline healthcare workers and vaccine administrators who have been “working tirelessly to serve the nation in this time of crisis”.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said that the government is set to impose restrictions on direct and indirect flights from certain African and South American countries.