7 July 2020
Pakistan’s Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry claimed on Wednesday that ministers have started contracting coronavirus due to the in-person sessions of the parliament.
“Within a week, the coronavirus claimed lives of four parliament members including a provincial minister,” Chaudhry was quoted by Geo News as saying.
Several high-ranking government functionaries including federal minister Shehryar Afridi, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and provincial minister Saeed Ghani also tested positive for COVID-19, while a few lawmakers also lost their lives to the virus.
A day ago, Sindh Minister for Human Settlement Haji Ghulam Murtaza Baloch passed away after battling coronavirus.
Baloch is the second lawmaker in Pakistan who has died from coronavirus after Shaheen Raza, who succumbed to the virus last month. She was a PTI lawmaker in the Punjab Assembly.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Friday he had tested positive for COVID-19, days after holding high-profile meetings including one with U.S. special representative on Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad in Islamabad.
.A number of high officials have tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan, including Former Pakistan PM Yusuf Raza Gilani , Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed and the speaker of the lower house of parliament, Asad Qaiser.
Pakistan’s point person on the coronavirus disease, Dr Zafar Mirza, has himself contracted Covid-19.
Dr Mirza announced on Monday that he was isolating himself at home after testing positive for the coronavirus disease.Both Dr Mirza and prime minister Imran Khan have been accused of implementing a muddled strategy under which the country’s Covid-19 numbers are amongst the highest in the region.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Covid-19 tally on Monday crossed the 2,31,000-mark after 3,344 new infections were detected in the last 24 hours. So far, the disease has claimed the lives of 4,762 in the country.
Out of the total infections, Sindh province reported 94,528 cases, Punjab 81,963, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 28,116, Islamabad 13,494, Balochistan 10,814, Gilgit-Baltistan 1,561 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir 1,342.
Forty eight doctors resigned in Pakistan’s Punjab province on Sunday citing inability of the government to provide safety gear to protect them from the virus.
“The doctors in question have resigned after the government’s failure to comply with their repeated requests to provide them protective gear against the deadly coronavirus and other inadequate facilities,” a senior doctor of a public hospital Lahore told news agencies.
Most of these doctors were working in teaching hospitals.
A Fortnight ago Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had announced that 10 players had tested positive for COVID-19 during a round of tests ahead of the squad assembling for their tour of England.
Initially three players – Haider Ali, Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan – were revealed to have tested positive, before a further seven names – Fakhar Zaman, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan and Wahab Riaz – were added to the list a day later. In addition, one member of support staff, the team masseur Malang Ali, has also tested positive.
Before that Shahid Afridi who recently made controversial comments against Kashmir and PM Modi , had also tested positive.