Prime Minister Imran Khan has tested negative for COVID-19, the government’s chief spokesperson, Firdous Ashiq Awan reported on Wednesday night.
“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,” wrote Awan in a statement on Twitter.
Earlier in the day, the premier’s personal physician and focal person on coronavirus, Dr Faisal Sultan announced that PM Imran’s sample has been taken to a diagnostic lab to determine whether he has the coronavirus or not.
Dr Sultan said that the results of the tests will be available in a few hours and will be announced through “official channels”.
A day prior, the Dr Sultan, who is also the premier’s personal physician had announced that the premier had agreed to test for COVID-19.
He had said at the time, “I am happy to announce that the prime minister, being a responsible prime minister and a responsible citizen, has agreed to get tested on my advice.”
That same night, Awan had also confirmed that the premier will be tested for the coronavirus.
“Samples for his test will be collected from the Prime Minister Office tomorrow (Wednesday),” she told Geo News anchor Muneeb Farooq on the TV show ‘Meray Mutabiq’.
Awan said that the premier’s office “is disinfected daily” while the PM Office is thoroughly disinfected as a whole “every other day”.
“There are meetings held there all the time so we are particular about disinfecting the premises,” she said.
She said that the prime minister and his family had previously been tested and were cleared.
“Who else was [possibly] affected following Faisal Edhi’s visit remains to be determined and for which everyone must be tested,” said Awan.
“Faisal Edhi did not have a lengthy conversation with the prime minister. He only handed over a cheque,” she added.
Faisal Edhi tests positive for coronavirus
Fears of the PM contracting the coronavirus emerged after Faisal Edhi, the head of one of Pakistan’s largest charity groups, the Edhi Foundation, tested positive for coronavirus.
According to Geo News, Edhi is in Islamabad at the moment and had insisted on being tested since he had been on the ground working with patients. His family will also undergo tests for the virus as well.
Edhi had traveled to Lahore and then to Islamabad, where he met Prime Minister Imran Khan and donated a Rs10 million check on behalf of his organisation.
Edhi had met Prime Minister Imran Khan, last week, and presented a Rs10 million cheque to the Prime Minister’s Coronavirus Relief Fund.