Udayavni Special

Pak President Arif Alvi, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak COVID-19 positive

PTI, Mar 30, 2021, 9:02 AM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan President Dr Arif Alvi and Defence Minister Pervez Khattak have tested positive for COVID-19, it emerged on Monday, nearly a week after Prime Minister Imran Khan had contracted the disease.

”I have tested positive for COVID-19. May Allah have mercy on all COVID-affected. Had the first dose of the vaccine but antibodies start developing after the second dose that was due in a week. Please continue to be careful,” the president tweeted on Monday.

The exact date when Alvi, 71, contracted the disease or the day of detection was not made public.

First Lady Samina Alvi tested negative for COVID-19 and was quarantining. She said the president has ”mild symptoms but is in good spirits”.

Later, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail tweeted that Defence Minister Perwaiz Khattak, 71, had also tested positive for the virus. ”Perwaiz Khatak is diagnosed with Covid positive. Get well soon PK,” wrote Ismail, who himself contracted and recovered from the virus last year.

Several local leaders and foreign envoys expressed food wishes for the president. Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong wished President Alvi a ”speedy and complete recovery” while British High Commissioner Christian Turner wished him a ”speedy recovery.”

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote: ”Wishing President Arif Alvi and Defence Minister Pervez Khattak quick recoveries and the best of health.”

Pakistan is in the grip of the third wave of COVID-19. The government has decided to impose fresh restrictions on social gatherings from April 5, with a steady rise in cases and a low supply of vaccines.

Prime Minister Khan, 68, tested positive for the novel coronavirus on March 20. His wife Bushra Bibi also tested coronavirus positive the same day.

COVID-19 has claimed 14,256 lives, along with 659,116 confirmed infections in Pakistan so far.

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