ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's president said Monday he tested positive for coronavirus, hours after the government imposed a partial lockdown in high-risk areas in the country amid a sharp spike in new cases.
Arif Alvi said on Twitter he tested positive for COVID-19 despite having his first dose of vaccine on March 15. He was due for a second dose in a week. “Please continue to be careful,” he urged people.
The development came nine days after Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife tested positive for coronavirus. Khan also tested positive days after receiving his first dose of vaccine.
Imran Ismail, provincial governor in southern Sindh province, said the country’s defense minister, Pervez Khattak, had also tested positive for coronavirus.
Pakistan is using the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine that was donated by Beijing last month to vaccinate health care workers and people above age 60.
Khan and his wife have quarantined themselves at a sprawling home in Islamabad and authorities have said Khan will soon return to working at his office.
Pakistan is in the midst of a third wave of coronavirus, which authorities say is worse than last year’s outbreak when Pakistan had to impose a nationwide lockdown. Pakistan so far has avoided a nationwide lockdown but it imposed a partial lowdown in several cities to contain the spread of the virus.
On Monday, Pakistan reported 41 additional deaths and more than 4,500 new cases in the past 24 hours. Pakistan has reported more than 659,000 cases total, including 14,256 deaths, since last year.