Lawmaker, who is fully vaccinated, says he has ‘mild symptoms’
Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood on Tuesday announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
“I have tested positive for coronavirus,” he said in a posting on Twitter. “I feel fine with mild symptoms. InshAllah will get well soon,” he added.
The minister, in a tweet posted on March 18, had announced that he had been vaccinated against the coronavirus. His diagnosis is a timely reminder that while vaccines are highly effective in preventing severe symptoms of COVID-19, they cannot prevent infection if preventative measures are not strictly adhered to by individuals.
Mahmood’s infection has also raised concerns about his attendance at an event in Islamabad on Tuesday morning prior to him receiving his test results. Attended by several government officials, including Special Assistant to the P.M. Usman Dar, the launch ceremony of the Skills Education and Kamyab Jawan programs was virtually addressed by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Despite medical advice for all individuals with symptoms to isolate while waiting for their test results, Mahmood participated in the event in person, including taking the podium for a speech and exchanging views with youth and officials in attendance. A day earlier, he also chaired the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference, which was largely conducted virtually.
Pakistan on Tuesday reported its lowest national positivity rate in months, less than 5 percent, raising hopes of an end in sight to the ongoing third wave of the pandemic. The country’s vaccination drive also achieved a new milestone of administering more than 250,000 doses in a single day, according to Planning Minister Asad Umar.