Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan tests positive for Covid-19

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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has tested positive for COVID-19, his national health adviser said on Saturday, two days after the premier got his vaccination.

Mr Khan, 68, is “self isolating at home”, Faisal Sultan said in a tweet.

The prime minister’s office confirmed the diagnosis and said more details would be released later.

“At this point, the prime minister’s office can only confirm that the honourable prime minister has tested positive for Covid-19 and has self-isolated, we will release more details in due course,” it said.

Mr Khan’s office shared a video on Twitter of him being vaccinated on Thursday, along with a message from the prime minister urging people to follow health protocols as the country faced a third wave of coronavirus infections.

Pakistan’s health ministry pointed out that Mr Khan had not had time to develop antibodies after being vaccinated. “He only got the first dose and merely 2 days ago which is too soon for ANY vaccine to become effective,” the ministry said in a message posted on Twitter.

The prime minister has had a number of public engagements in recent days, including the inauguration of a security conference in Islamabad on Wednesday where he spoke without wearing a mask. On Friday he attended a ceremony to inaugurate a housing project for the poor.

Mr Khan also received the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al Sabah on Thursday, his office said.

Pakistan is seeing a sharp rise in coronavirus infections. On Saturday the government reported 3,876 new confirmed cases in the previous 24 hours – the highest number of daily infections since early July. There were also 42 more deaths, taking the total to 13,799 out of more than 620,000 Covid-19 cases detected so far.

Pakistan, with a population of 220 million, is largely reliant on the Covax vaccine sharing initiative for poorer nations. The country is using more than one million doses of Sinopharm donated by longtime ally China to vaccinate frontline health workers and the older population.

The National

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