Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has reportedly agreed to get tested for COVID-19 after he met a well-known philanthropist who tested positive for the novel coronavirus infection, his doctor confirmed on Tuesday April 21.
Faisal Edhi, son of late Pakistani philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi and chairman of the Edhi Foundation, tested positive for coronavirus days after meeting Prime Minister Khan at his office in Islamabad, according to a report in the Dawn newspaper.
Khan wasn't wearing mask and gloves
Edhi had met Khan along with two other Pakistani businessmen at the Prime Minister's Office and also handed him a cheque for Rs 10 million for the Prime Minister's Coronavirus Relief Fund.
Reports suggest that both Khan and Edhi were not wearing masks or gloves at the time of meeting.
Doctor says PM will undergo tests as a responsible citizen
The report of Edhi's positive coronavirus test surfaced on the afternoon of April 21 when Khan was chairing a cabinet meeting.
After testing positive, Faisal Edhi appeared on local Pakistani TV, and said that he along with two other industrialists were with the premier for about "six to seven minutes."
Soon after the news broke out, Dr Faisal Sultan, Khan's personal physician and CEO of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, told local media that Khan would undergo the necessary COVID-19 tests to be rest assured and ward off any fears that he may have contracted the virus from Edhi.
"Prime Minister Khan will undergo test of the coronavirus to show that he is a responsible citizen of this county," Dr. Sultan said.
"We will follow all protocols in place and make recommendations accordingly." The protocols recommend self-isolation for people who meet or have met someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.
The reports did not suggest anything on how Khan will run the government if he is asked to go into self-quarantine.
TV footage of the cabinet meeting showed Prime Minister Imran Khan chairing the meeting without taking any protective measures such as wearing a mask or gloves.
Faisal Edhi asked to self-isolate
Faisal Edhi's son Saad Edhi said his father started showing symptoms of COVID-19 last week soon after he traveled to Islamabad to Prime Minister Khan's office on April 15.
"The symptoms lasted for four days before subsiding," Saad said.
Soon after that, Faisal got tested for COVID-19 and the results came out positive. His son added that Faisal was currently in Islamabad and was doing better. Faisal Edhi has not been admitted to any hospital and is said to be currently self-isolating. He has been advised to self-isolate for the next week.
The Edhi Foundation is a leading non-profit charity and welfare organisation in Pakistan founded by the late Abdul Sattar Edhi in 1951. The foundation runs several shelter homes, old-age homes, ambulances, orphanages, morgues and other welfare services in Pakistan.
Coronavirus in Pakistan
Pakistan continues to grapple with growing coronavirus cases and on Tuesday April 21, the country reported 16 deaths from coronavirus taking the country's total death toll to 192, while the number of confirmed infections rose to 9,216.