PM Imran to get tested for COVID-19 today: SAPM Awan

Kashif Mushtaq
Faisal Edhi with PM Imran Khan. Photo: File 

Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan late Tuesday night said that Prime Minister Imran Khan will be tested for the coronavirus on Wednesday.

"Samples for his test will be collected from the Prime Minister Office tomorrow," she told Geo News anchor Muneeb Farooq in programme 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.

PM agrees to get tested on advice of personal physician

Earlier in the day the premier's personal physician Dr Faisal Sultan announced that the premier has agreed to test for COVID-19.

Dr Sultan, who is also the prime minister's focal person for coronavirus, said: "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."

His remarks came during a press conference by the prime minister in which Dr Sultan; Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar; the prime minister's aide on national security, Moeed Yusuf; and Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar also briefed the media.

Faisal Edhi tests positive

On Tuesday morning, Geo News had reported that Faisal Edhi, the head of one of Pakistan's largest charity groups, the Edhi Foundation, has 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 test 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.

His family told Geo News, he had insisted on a test whose result came back today as positive.

Moreover, Edhi’s son, Saad Edhi told Geo News, everyone who had come in contact with him will be tested for the virus. According to his test reports, he had no symptoms of the virus.

The social worker is in isolation and is in constant contact with his doctor, Geo News reported.

Speaking to Geo News over the phone, Edhi said he started experiencing severe headache and fever on Aril 16.

“When this situation continued for the next two days my friends suggested that I take the test,” he said. “I have no symptoms now but my test came back positive.”

The doctor has told me to self-isolate for a week, Edhi said.

The host and crew of a TV show, where Edhi had made an appearance last week, has been administered tests and advised to stay at home till results return.

Last week, Edhi had met Prime Minister Imran Khan and presented Rs10 million cheque to the Prime Minister's Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Speaking to Geo News, Dr had said he will meet the premier in the evening and apprise him of the situation.

“I will speak to the prime minister about this,” Dr Sultan had said. “Keeping in mind the situation and what we know about the virus and how it is spread through contact, I will make recommendations.”

The final decision to take the test or not rests with the prime minister, he had added.

Edhi Foundation

Edhi Foundation is the largest Pakistani charity foundation, known worldwide for its humanitarian work.

The charity was founded by Abdul Sattar Edhi, a well-known philanthropist, ascetic, humanitarian, and social activist. He was known as the “father of the poor” and “the angel of mercy”, and had been repeatedly nominated for the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Highly revered and respected all over the world, Edhi dedicated his life to serving the poorest people. He established a giant charity foundation that sponsored the building of maternity hospitals, morgues, orphanages, shelters and a nursing home.

Until his death on July 8, 2016, he dedicated his life and that of all his family members to the service of people