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Pakistani premier tests negative for coronavirus

Imran Khan tested after NGO head who met him last week tested positive for COVID-19

Aamir Latif   | 22.04.2020
Pakistani premier tests negative for coronavirus

KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan tested negative for the coronavirus, a minister said on Wednesday.

"I am happy to report that his test is negative," Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said in a Twitter post.

"Prime Minister Imran Khan was tested today [Wednesday] for SARS-COVID-19. The test used was a polymerase chain reaction", she added.

Khan was tested a day after the head of Pakistan's top non-governmental relief agency, who met the premier last week, tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday.

Faisal Edhi, the head of the Edhi Foundation, met Khan last Wednesday to donate 10 million Pakistani rupees ($61,162) for the government's coronavirus relief fund in the capital Islamabad.

"Faisal Edhi is currently in Islamabad, and has gone into self-isolation," Saad Edhi, his son and also a spokesman for Edhi Foundation, told Anadolu Agency.

Fresh cases

Pakistan's coronavirus tally crossed 10,000 mark on Wednesday with 327 new cases. The Health Ministry said the total number of cases climbed to 10,076.

Most of the new cases were confirmed in the southern Sindh and northeastern Punjab provinces.

With three more deaths in the past 24 hours, the countrywide death toll rose to 212, the ministry confirmed, while the number of recoveries climbed to 2,156.

After originating in Wuhan, China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has spread to at least 185 countries and regions worldwide, with Europe and the U.S. the worst-hit regions.

There are more than 2.61 million cases worldwide and over 181,200 deaths. More than 703,500 have recovered from the virus, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

Despite the severity of the virus, most people experience mild symptoms and recover in due time.

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