Islamabad - Prime Minister Imran Khan has tested negative for the novel coronavirus, government’s chief spokesperson Firdous Ashiq Awan confirmed in a tweet.

The premier was tested for SARS-CoV-2, the virus strain that causes Covid-19, today. “I am happy to report that his test is NEGATIVE,” wrote Awan.

Earlier, Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Coronavirus Dr Faisal Sultan said on Wednesday that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sample had been taken to determine whether he had the virus or not.

The focal person, in a video message, shared that sample had been sent to the lab for diagnostics. He added that the results of the tests would be available in a few hours, adding that it would be announced through “official channels”.

On Tuesday the premier’s personal physician Dr Faisal Sultan announced that the premier had agreed to test for COVID-19.

Dr Sultan 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.

Fears of the Prime Minister contracting the coronavirus emerged after Faisal Edhi, the head of one of Pakistan’s largest charity groups, the Edhi Foundation, tested positive for coronavirus.

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 tests 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.

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

To raise funds, PM to join Telethon today

Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that he will participate in Telethon at PTV Network today (Thursday) to raise funds for the people affected by lockdown.

In a video message, he said due to vast number of affected persons, huge amounts will be required to help them. He urged the philanthropists to actively participate in this fundraising campaign.

Meanwhile, Senator Faisal Javed Khan called on Prime Minister Imran Khan and briefed him about the biggest and massive Telethon transmissions of country’s history starting from Thursday for fund raising to fight COVID-19.

Faisal Javed Khan informed the Prime Minister that the government and private TV channels will launch the telethon for Corona Relief Fund, sensitising Pakistani citizens inside and outside the country, to come forward in helping the countrymen in this testing time. Besides, telecom companies are facilitating consumers to send SMS on 6677 to contribute their share in PM Corona Relief Fund, he said.

The Prime Minister appreciated the telethon initiative and said that Pakistani nation faced every problem with persistence and perseverance. He said Pakistani people have always helped their brothers openly in every moment of trouble. The Prime Minister said response from well-off people towards Corona Relief Fund is encouraging. He expressed the hope that the entire nation will work together to make this mission a success.