PM Imran Khan test negative for coronavirus

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan attend the Refugee Summit Islamabad to mark 40 years of hosting Afghan refugee in Islamabad on Feb. 17, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 22 April 2020

PM Imran Khan test negative for coronavirus

  • Prime minister continued his official engagements and met with ministers and other officials on Wednesday
  • Khan recently interacted with the head of a leading charity organization who was diagnosed with the coronavirus on Tuesday

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan confirmed in a Twitter post on Wednesday that the country’s premier, Imran Khan, had tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

A team of doctors collected samples from the prime minister earlier in the day while he continued his official engagements and met with ministers and other officials.
On Tuesday, Khan’s personal physician, Dr. Faisal Sultan, said the prime minister had agreed to be tested after the head of Edhi Foundation, who handed over a substantial amount to the premier last week to fight the pandemic, was diagnosed with the disease.
Dr. Sultan, who is also the country’s focal person for COVID-19, made the announcement in Khan’s presence during a media briefing.
Edhi Foundation chairman Faisal Edhi met the prime minister on April 15 to donate Rs10 million to the government’s Corona Relief Fund.
His picture with Khan was widely circulated after the meeting, showing that neither of them was wearing a face mask.
According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19, which causes severe respiratory illness, can have an incubation period of one to 14 days. In other words, it can take about two weeks for an infected individual to display symptoms of the disease.
Being the head of the government, Khan held several meetings since interacting with the head of the charity organization. These included his consultations with cabinet ministers, president and other senior officials. The prime minister also decided to relax the lockdown across the country by allowing “low-risk” industries to resume their operations.
Similar COVID-19 scare has also been witnessed in neighboring India and Afghanistan where the coronavirus has reportedly infected members of the presidential staff.


General Bajwa, Bill Gates discuss Pakistan’s anti-polio campaign 

Updated 15 August 2020

General Bajwa, Bill Gates discuss Pakistan’s anti-polio campaign 

  • The American business tycoon praises the army for supporting the anti-polio drive and ensuring its reach and coverage 
  • The army chief passes on the credit to ‘grassroots workers’ 

ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and American business tycoon and philanthropist Bill Gates spoke on telephone about Pakistan’s COVID-19 response and resumption of anti-polio campaign, said an official handout prepared and circulated by the military’s public relations wing, ISPR, on Saturday.
Gates applauded the Pakistan Army for supporting the anti-polio drive and ensuring the program’s proper reach and coverage.
In response, the army chief said that the effort to make Pakistan polio-free was a “national cause,” adding that the credit for running an effective campaign went to “grassroots workers, including mobile teams, law enforcement agencies and healthcare representatives.”
The two also discussed how to carry out a safe anti-polio drive for everyone amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“​Mr. Gates also appreciated Pakistan’s success against COVID-19 despite resource constraints,” said the statement. “The COAS attributed the success to a true national response executed through the mechanism of [National Command and Operation Center] which allowed optimization of resources.”
The American businessman reiterated the Gates Foundation’s ongoing commitment “to fight pandemics” around the world and to support Pakistan in its goals of ending polio and improving health for every child.