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.
Prime Minister Imran Khan was tested today for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus strain that causes coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]). The test used was a polymerase chain reaction (PCR). I am happy to report that his test is NEGATIVE.
— Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan (@Dr_FirdousPTI) April 22, 2020
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.