Mar 20, 2021 - World

Pakistan's prime minister tests positive for COVID-19

Picture of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

Imran Khan. Photo: WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has tested positive for the coronavirus and is self-isolating with a mild cough and fever, Health Minister Faisal Sultan said in a tweet on Saturday.

The big picture: The news comes two days after Khan received his first dose of the vaccine, likely China's Sinopharm which is the only shot available in Pakistan and takes a few weeks to build immunity, per Reuters.

  • Senior aides to the prime minister emphasized that Khan likely became infected prior to his Thursday shot, Reuters reports.
    • "Along with Sinopharm, the country has approved the CanSinoBio, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines for emergency use," BBC writes.
  • Khan had stressed his concern after receiving the positive COVID result that it could serve as a setback to the nation's mass inoculation drive, his adviser Shahbaz Gill told local TV, per Reuters.
  • Officials are urging the public not to be deterred from getting their vaccines.

By the numbers: Pakistan has 623,000 virus cases and almost 13,800 confirmed deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

COVID-19 cases in Pakistan have been rising, and partial lockdown restrictions have recently been reintroduced due to the increase, the Guardian reports.

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