Imran Khan’s railway minister, former Pakistan PM Abbasi test positive for COVID -19

As Coronavirus cases in Pakistan crossed 1,00,000-mark, the country’s Railway Minister and former Prime Minister has tested positive for the virus. Former Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has also tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently quarantined at his house. It was the spokesperson of PML-N Maryam Aurangzeb who confirmed the news for the 61- year -old Abbasi to have tested positive.

 Abbasi, who is the senior vice president of PML-N, has also served as the Prime Minister from August 2017 to May 2018 after his party leader Nawaz Sharif was de-seated by a court ruling in a corruption case. Railway Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad took to Twitter and informed that he has tested COVID-19 positive. 

I have been tested Positive for COVID-19 though I have no symptoms of COVID-19, whatsoever. I am fine, Alhamdu Lillah. I need your prayers. SAMAA TV reported Rasheed saying “I am not showing any symptoms and will get tested again in seven days.”

 His office also added that he has gone into self-isolation and will remain in quarantine for two weeks as per doctors’ advice.

Rasheed has held several press conferences and met dozens of people including several trips to PM house. However, he reportedly always wore a mask and practiced social distancing.

Other Pakistani leaders, who tested positive for Covid-19?

  • Since the outbreak of the virus, a number of Pakistani leaders have been infected.
  • Pakistan Peoples Party leader Sharjeel Memon has also tested positive for the virus a couple of days back. Memon has currently self-isolated himself. 
  • Other leaders who tested positive were Governor of Pakistan’s southern Sindh province Imran Ismail.
  • While fear of Covid-19 infection surrounded Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan when Faisal Edhi tested positive days after his meeting with Khan. However, Khan’s test result came negative on April 22. 
  • In the month of May, after hosting an iftar dinner party to celebrate Ramadan, the speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly Asad Qaiser was also found positive but recovered. Prime Minister Imran Khan was also invited to the party and later on tested negative.
  • Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s provincial lawmaker Chaudhry Ali was also tested positive for the novel coronavirus. According to his spokesperson, Akhtar was in home isolation and had himself gotten tested for the virus after showing some symptoms.
  • At least four lawmakers, including a provincial minister, have died in Pakistan due to this contagious virus.
  • Mian Jamshed, 65, a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s member provincial assembly (MPA) died while undergoing treatment after coming in contact with this contagious virus. 
  • A PML-N member of the Punjab assembly, Shaukat Manzoor Cheema also died due to COVID-19. 

Pakistan’s Covid-19 tally:

According to the demographics, 0.045% of Pakistan’s total population has been affected by COVID-19 so far and is assumed to further increase. 

Pakistan has reported 1,05,637 Coronavirus cases and the death toll due to the disease has reached 2,000 on Monday, June 8.

 33,465 patients have fully recovered so far.

  •  37,090 cases have been reported in Punjab, 36,364 in Sindh, 13,001 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 6,221 in Balochistan, 4,979 in Islamabad, 927 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 361 in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Addressing the nation, Imran Khan warned the country of ‘a very difficult time ahead’, predicting that cases will surge in July-August. Khan has eased lockdown restrictions saying that the countries ailing economy might collapse and the poorest might suffer, that is about 30% of Pakistan’s total population (220 million, approx.) despite criticism from medical professionals and opposition politicians.

  • Khan said “A lockdown does not mean it will end COVID-19. It can only slow down the spread of the virus. Sadly, the lockdown also slowed down the economy, creating hard times for our poor people. We have reopened the economy with SOPs and precautions so our poor people can earn a livelihood.”

 Earlier on June 7, he ruled out the return to a strict shutdown to stem the spread of coronavirus, saying the ‘elitist’ idea would collapse the economy and increase poverty.
In a recent address as reported by the Xinhua news agency, the premier said that there might be difficult times ahead for the country if the people keep on taking COVID-19 as the common flu and do not follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) formed by the government to control the spread of the disease.

  • Pakistan has been setting records for the number of new daily infections over the last 10 days. 
  • Pakistanis have been stubbornly refusing to take precautions like wearing masks and social distancing even when their Prime Minister had been pleading about it to them.
  • The number of tests per day for the virus has been increasing but of the nearly 23,000 tests daily, more than 1 in 5 have been positive according to the reports. 
  • Pakistan is the 16th country to exceed 1,00,000 infections, according to news agency Reuters. The virus is yet to peek in Pakistan as said by the officials. 
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