ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan and his spouse Bushra Bibi have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Special Assistant to the PM on National Health Services, Faisal Sultan announced this on Saturday, saying that Imran Khan is self-isolating at home.
A few hours later, Dr Faisal Sultan said that he has met the Premier and he is “fit and doing well”. he further said, “The best advice that we could give him was to stay at home, isolate, and take rest,” he said, in view of the fact that the Premier only has “mild symptoms”.
“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. “We will be contact tracing everyone and request all the individuals that met him to isolate themselves,” he said.
The Premier’s aide said that soon after news of the Prime Minister testing positive broke, speculations have been rife, especially with regard to vaccinations, and he wishes to provide some clarity.
“First of all, it is important to understand when the vaccines begin to show their effect and what changes are seen. No vaccine brings about any immediate changes, which means its efficacy, and our antibodies, do not kick in after the first dose,” he explained.
Dr Sultan said a level of antibodies that are fit to fight the infection are only produced two weeks after the second shot, in the case of two-dose vaccines. He said this is why it is important to be clear about the fact that at the time the Prime Minister was inoculated with the first dose, he had not developed any immunity.
“It is likely that he had been exposed a few days prior and the virus was already in his system,” the Premier’s aide said. He said the people must not pay heed to any misinformation regarding the vaccine playing any role.
Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar said that it is “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 dispelled the rumours about the efficacy of vaccination, he said the people should get themselves vaccinated against the virus.
As soon as the news broke, people across Pakistan and the world started praying for the Prime Minister’s speedy recovery.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished his Pakistani counterpart a speedy recovery from Covid-19. “Best wishes to Prime Minister Imran Khan for a speedy recovery from Covid-19,” Modi wrote on his official Twitter handle.
Other world leaders also wished the Premier a speedy recovery.
Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong also wished the Premier a speedy recovery. He said, “My best wishes for speedy and complete recovery of Prime Minister of Pakistan @ImranKhanPTI.”
The Embassy of the United States of America in Pakistan said: “We wish Prime Minister Khan a speedy recovery. Our thoughts are with him and his family.”
British High Commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner prayed for PM Imran on his Twitter account. “Wishing a speedy recovery & shifa to PM @ImranKhanPTI #GetWellSoon,” said Christian Turner.
The French Embassy in Pakistan taking to Twitter said: “We wish PM Imran Khan a prompt and full recovery.”
Australia’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr Geoffrey Shaw also tweeted that he wished a full and speedy recovery for the prime minister. “My thoughts and prayers are with the PM and all those affected by the coronavirus around the country.”
Ambassador of Switzerland to Pakistan Ambassador Bénédict de Cerjat said: “Wishing a speedy recovery to Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI.”
PTI Senator Dr Faisal Javed said the Prime Minister is experiencing “mild symptoms” and will continue to work from home while remaining in isolation. “Lots of prayers for all who have been tested positive including PM Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi!!! May ALLAH give them speedy recovery,” he said.
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”.
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.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi prayed for the good health of PM Imran Khan. Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi, while reacting to the news, was confident that the PM will recover and be “back to work in a flash”.
Balochistan Government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani also prayed for the recovery of the PM.
In a message on Twitter, Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also wished a speedy recovery to the Premier from COVID-19.
PPP leader and former deputy National Assembly Faisal Karim Kundi expressed regret over Prime Minister Imran Khan contracting Covid-19 and said that the PPP leadership and activists pray for his recovery. He urged the public to strictly implement the Covid-19 SOPs.
Former PPP senator Osman Saifullah wished the prime minister a speedy recovery.
Taking to Twitter, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) General Secretary Ahsan Iqbal prayed for the recovery of Imran Khan from Covid-19 and said that as leaders they should take precautions and wear a face mask to be the model of safety.
Even former cricketers came out to pray for the speedy recovery of PM Imran Khan. Former captain Shahid Afridi said, “PM Imran Khan’s news reminds the people that the coronavirus can hit our homes.”
West Indies batsman Sherfane Rutherford while praying for PM Imran said that the cricketer-turned politician is an “ideal player” for him.
Actor Humayun Saeed also took to Twitter to pray for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speedy recovery. TLTP