Prime Minister Imran Khan and First Lady Bushra Bibi tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. They are both self-isolating at home and are feeling “comfortable with mild symptoms” according to government spokespersons.
the news of PM Imran testing positive was announced by Dr Faisal Sultan on Twitter, we saw that a lot of people started questioning the efficacy of the coronavirus vaccine as the premier had just been administered the first dose two days ago.
It also led to a lot of conspiracy theories. In a country where the anti-vaxxers have led a vicious campaign against polio drops, it is extremely crucial that these myths be busted. Thus it was good to see the Government of Pakistan’s official social media accounts as well the Ministry of National Health’s social media account give a clarification about the vaccination process.
They tweeted that PM Imran “was not fully vaccinated when he contracted the virus”. They explained that he only got the first dose merely two days ago, which is too soon for any vaccine to become effective. They also clarified that anti-bodies develop 2-3 weeks after the second dose.
We have seen the mistrust surrounding the global pandemic in our country. When the pandemic broke out, many people bought into the false theories that this was some kind of conspiracy by the west. Then we saw how many people refused to follow SOPs like wearing masks because they thought it was just a “flu”.
It was only when a strict lockdown was imposed and when we saw deaths around the world that it was taken seriously. Luckily, Pakistan managed to control the virus after the first wave. When lockdowns were relaxed, we saw another wave, though that too was relatively controlled. Now there is a third wave and this time the UK-variant, which is said to be quite deadly, has also been found in the country. The government has started a vaccination drive for the elderly — those who are above 60 are eligible and need to register themselves to get the vaccine.
While many people have opted to get themselves vaccinated, there is still hesitation among some. And when the PM got COVID-positive, just two days after his first vaccine dose, it led to some unbelievable theories.
The government has so far countered the false propaganda about vaccines but it should also start countrywide awareness campaigns busting these myths.
We hope that all those affected by coronavirus remain healthy. Our prayers are with the PM and First Lady as well as all patients. And we hope that all those who are eligible for vaccination do get vaccinated at the earliest.