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Pakistan’s president tests positive for coronavirus

Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi said on Monday (March 29) he had tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks after receiving his first dose of an unnamed vaccine.

“Had (first) dose of vaccine, but antibodies start developing after (second) dose that was due in a week. Please continue to be careful,” he said on Twitter.

First Lady Samina Alvi tweeted that the president had mild symptoms and was “in good spirits”.

Soon after on Monday, the country’s defence minister Pervez Khattak also said he had tested positive and just over a week ago a similar announcement came from Prime Minister Imran Khan after he had received his first dose.

Coronavirus cases are rising quickly in the South Asian nation. It has recorded 659,116 infections and more than 14,250 related deaths, with 4,525 infections and 41 deaths reported in the last 24 hours.

The government is in the process of introducing stricter restrictions including bans on wedding ceremonies and large gatherings.

It launched its vaccine drive earlier this month, inoculating health workers and high-risk age groups. But it is facing setbacks from vaccine hesitancy and delays in vaccines arriving in the country.

Footage released by the government on March 15 showed the president receiving a vaccine, but did not name the brand.

(Production: Salah Uddin, Michael Fiorentino, Sheree Sardar, Mindy Burows)

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