After Foreign Minister Qureshi, Pak health minister tests positive for COVID-19

After Foreign Minister Qureshi, Pak health minister tests positive for COVID-19
Doctor Zafar Mirza, special assistant to Pak Prime Minister on health, briefs media representatives on the novel coronaviru in Islamabad on January 29, 2020. AFP
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Islamabad: Pakistan's health minister Dr Zafar Mirza said on Monday that he was tested positive for the novel coronavirus, becoming the latest senior minister in the country to be hit by the deadly virus.

Mirza, the special assistant to the prime minister on health services, said that he was experiencing "mild symptoms" and was taking all precautions.

"I have tested positive for COVID-19. Under med advice I have isolated myself at home & taking all precautions. I have mild symptoms. Please keep me in your kind prayers," tweeted Mirza.

He urged his colleagues to keep up the good work. "You (colleague) are making a big difference and I am proud of you," he said.

Mirza had been at the forefront of the government's response to the pandemic and briefed the media on a daily basis about the situation.

On Friday, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that he has tested positive for the coronavirus disease and quarantined himself.

Qureshi is the Vice President of ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and considered as number two in the government after Prime Minister Imran Khan

Several Pakistani lawmakers contracted the deadly virus and some of them have also died.

Prominent political leaders who have contracted the virus so far include National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, PPP leader Saeed Ghani and Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid, all of whom have recovered.

Former Balochistan governor Syed Fazal Agha, PTI Punjab lawmaker Shaheen Raza, Sindh Minister for Human Settlements Ghulam Murtaza Baloch, lawmaker Munir Khan Orakzai and PTI's Mian Jamshedud Din Kakakhel are among politicians who died after contracting the virus.

Pakistan's coronavirus tally has crossed the 231,000-mark with 4,762 deaths.

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