Pakistan National Assembly speaker tests positive for Covid-19

ISLAMABAD: The speaker of the Pakistan National Assembly, his daughter and son, tested positive for the novel, raising fears that other top officials, including the Prime Minister Imran Khan , whom the custodian of the house had met earlier in the week, may have contracted the disease.

I quarantined, Pakistan's ruling Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) posted on Thursday night on Twitter, saying he had started experiencing symptoms, including fever, in the past few days.

Today (Thursday), when I had the test again, the report came out positive, he said.

Qaiser said his entire family had also been examined and that his son and daughter had tested positive for Covid-19. His staff and the people who have been in contact with him in the last two weeks have been advised to get tested immediately. Previously, her sister and brother-in-law tested positive for the virus.

Qaiser had met Prime Minister Khan on Monday. It is not immediately clear if Khan will be evaluated. Last month, she received a negative result, after meeting Pakistani philanthropist Faisal Edhi, who was later diagnosed with the contagious disease.

Ignoring his government's policy of social distancing, Qaiser organized an Iftar dinner last Monday, attended by several politicians and dignitaries.

The NA speaker is the latest Pakistani politician, and the third PTI leader, to test positive for coronavirus. Earlier this week, the governor of the southern province of Sindh, Imran Ismail, was infected with Covid-19.

Similarly, PPP legislator Rana Hamir Singh of Sindh's Education Minister and Saeed Ghani also tested positive for the virus. Ghani has since recovered. Another Sindh lawmaker, Syed Abdul Rasheed, along with eight members of his family, recently tested positive for the virus.

Pakistan currently has around 17,650 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 406 deaths and 4,315 recoveries. The confirmed case count is expected to top 18,000 by midnight on Friday.