Imran Khan receives the dose of coronavirus vaccine at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad on Thursday.
Gulf Today Report
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, two days after receiving his first vaccine dose, government officials said, urging people not to be deterred from getting vaccinated.
Later during the day, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan a "speedy recovery" from COVID-19, in a new sign of a thaw between the neighbours.
"Best wishes to Prime Minister Imran Khan for a speedy recovery from COVID-19," the Hindu nationalist leader said on Twitter. Modi regularly uses his rallies to lash out at Pakistan.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Faisal Sultan confirmed the news on Twitter.
“PM Imran Khan has tested positive for Covid-19 and is self-isolating at home,” said Faisal Sultan.
The PM Office also confirmed on Twitter that PM Khan has tested positive for coronavirus with a short dua from the Quran.
While it was not clear which vaccine Khan was given, the vaccine produced by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) is the only one available in Pakistan.
Imran expressed concern after his positive test result that it could deter ordinary people from getting vaccinated, his adviser Shahbaz Gill told a local television.
He said Imran Khan, who has been seen attending regular gatherings — often without wearing a mask, had mild symptoms.
Asad Umar, the minister in-charge of the country's COVID-19 operations, said in a tweet it was "certain that PM had been infected prior to vaccination.” "So please do vaccinate," Umar added.
The South Asian nation of 220 million is seeing a sharp rise in the coronavirus infections.
On Friday, the premier had been on a visit to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where he visited the Swat Motorway. There he inaugurated the Swat Expressway Tunnel.
He also toured Malakand University and inaugurated a new academic block and addressed a gathering of students.
Data shows that Islamabad, Abbottabad, Mirpur, Gilgit and Rawalpindi are the cities where over 30 per cent of the population has been vaccinated till now. Gujranwala, Mardan and Quetta have so far vaccinated only 10 per cent or below of their populations.
"We expect the first 10,000 doses to come on March 25, and 100,000 next month and 200,000 the month after," said Hassan Abbas, an official of AJ Pharma, CanSino's local partner, which will be importing the vaccine.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has continued to perform his work despite being infected with coronavirus and discussed important government matters with the leaders of his party on Thursday.
"I exercised precaution for a whole year. I never went to any wedding or even to a restaurant to eat. I practiced social distancing and kept my mask on for the most part," the premier said, as he began his video message.
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