Pakistan PM tests positive for COVID for a third time

Shehbaz Sharif tests positive for the coronavirus a day after returning from London.

Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif speaks during an interview
Shehbaz Sharif earlier had COVID-19 in June 2020 and in January this year [File: Mary Altaffer/AP]

Pakistan’s prime minister has tested positive for the coronavirus and was feeling unwell, a day after returning from London, the country’s information minister has said.

It was the third time that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had tested positive for the virus; the first two times were in June 2020 and in January this year.

Information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb asked the nation in a tweet on Tuesday to pray for the 71-year-old leader’s quick recovery.

Sharif travelled earlier this month to the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he participated at the annual United Nations climate summit, known as COP27, and from there went on to London on a private trip to see his older brother, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The elder Sharif was disqualified from running for office by the country’s Supreme Court in 2017, and has been convicted of concealing assets abroad and sentenced to 10 years. He has been living in exile after a Pakistani court released him on bail and allowed him to leave the country in 2019 for medical treatment abroad.

His daughter, Maryam Nawaz, was sentenced to seven years in the same case, over charges connected with the purchase of luxury apartments in London. The daughter, who is also the vice president of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League, was acquitted of all charges by an appeals court in September.

Prime Minister Sharif had extended his London stay after feeling a slight fever while there and returned home on Monday. He became the premier in April after a no-confidence vote in parliament removed his predecessor, cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan.

Source: News Agencies