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Pakistani PM tests positive for COVID-19, official urges public to get vaccinated as soon as possible
Published: Mar 21, 2021 08:59 AM
A closed market is seen in northwest Pakistan's Peshawar on March 20, 2021. Pakistan is facing a serious third wave of the virus and the government is taking steps to ensure the standard operating procedures to control the spread of the virus.(Photo: Xinhua)

A closed market is seen in northwest Pakistan's Peshawar on March 20, 2021. Pakistan is facing a serious third wave of the virus and the government is taking steps to ensure the standard operating procedures to control the spread of the virus.(Photo: Xinhua)


 
A vendor sells face masks in front of a closed shop in northwest Pakistan's Peshawar on March 20, 2021. Pakistan is facing a serious third wave of the virus and the government is taking steps to ensure the standard operating procedures to control the spread of the virus.(Photo: Xinhua)

A vendor sells face masks in front of a closed shop in northwest Pakistan's Peshawar on March 20, 2021. Pakistan is facing a serious third wave of the virus and the government is taking steps to ensure the standard operating procedures to control the spread of the virus.(Photo: Xinhua)


 
People wearing face masks walk past a closed market in northwest Pakistan's Peshawar on March 20, 2021. Pakistan is facing a serious third wave of the virus and the government is taking steps to ensure the standard operating procedures to control the spread of the virus.(Photo: Xinhua)

People wearing face masks walk past a closed market in northwest Pakistan's Peshawar on March 20, 2021. Pakistan is facing a serious third wave of the virus and the government is taking steps to ensure the standard operating procedures to control the spread of the virus.(Photo: Xinhua)


 
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has tested positive for COVID-19, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Faisal Sultan said on social media Saturday.

The Ministry of National Health Service, Regulations and Coordination said on social media that the prime minister was not fully vaccinated when he contracted the virus.

He only got the first dose and merely two days ago which is too soon for any vaccine to become effective, said the ministry, adding that anti-bodies develop two to three weeks after the 2nd dose of the two-dose COVID vaccines.

Asad Umar, chairman of the country's National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), told Xinhua "He (Khan) got vaccinated on Thursday evening and felt some signs of the disease on the next day, so obviously he was infected before being vaccinated because the COVID-19 symptoms take a few days to manifest."

Umar, who is also the minister for planning, development and special initiative, highlighted the need of vaccination for the public and urged all eligible people to receive vaccine provided by the government as soon as possible.

Sources from the prime minister's office told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that Khan does not show any apparent signs and shows only some mild symptoms of coughing, adding that Khan quarantined himself at his private residence and will continue official business through video conferencing.

The sources said one of the senior officials of the prime minister's office got infected with the virus a few days before the prime minister was infected, and had been shifted to a hospital after his condition got serious.

Pakistan is facing a serious third wave of the virus and the government is taking steps to ensure the standard operating procedures to control the spread of the virus.
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