Special Assistant to the P.M. on Health announces that the premier is self-isolating at home
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday tested positive for the novel coronavirus, with Special Assistant to the P.M. on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan announcing he was self-isolating.
“P.M. Imran Khan has tested positive for COVID-19 and is self-isolating at home,” Dr. Sultan announced on Twitter.
The prime minister, who is 68, received his first dose of a coronavirus vaccine on Thursday. It is likely he was infected prior to being inoculated. Doctors have also stressed that protection from the vaccines becomes viable around two weeks after the second shot—which the premier would receive 21 days after his first.
Even after being inoculated, healthcare professionals have emphasized, the public must continue wearing masks and maintaining social distancing until sufficient numbers have been vaccinated to achieve herd immunity—a figure believed to be around 70-75 percent of the eligible population.
Planning Minister Asad Umar sought to dismiss speculation about the vaccine’s efficacy in a posting on Twitter. “Some people questioning the efficacy of vaccination since he [P.M.] was vaccinated Thursday evening,” he said. “The symptoms take a few days before manifesting. Hence, it is certain that the P.M. had been infected prior to vaccination. So please do vaccinate,” he added.
The Ministry of National Health Services, likewise, clarified that the prime minister was not fully vaccinated when he was infected. “Prime Minister Imran Khan was not fully vaccinated when he contracted the virus,” it said in a posting on Twitter. “He only got the 1st dose and merely 2 days ago, which is too soon for ANY vaccine to become effective. Anti-bodies develop 2-3 weeks after second dose of 2-dose COVID vaccines,” it added.
The prime minister is merely the latest Pakistani lawmaker to test positive for COVID-19. Federal ministers Hammad Azhar, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, and Asad Umar have all contracted and successfully recovered from the virus.