190718 Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: As coronavirus cases continue to increase at alarming rate in Pakistan, former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has also tested positive for COVID-19.

Abbasi who is the Senior Vice President of Pakistan Mulsim League- Nawaz (PML-N) and served as Prime Minister of Pakistan from August 2017 to May 2018 after his party leader Nawaz Sharif was de-seated by a court order in a corruption case. Abbasi also owns Pakistan’s largest private airline Airblue which also oeprates flights between UAE and Pakistan.

Abbasi has gone into quarantine at his house after receiving a positive COVID-19 test report on Monday.

Coronavirus cases have risen sharply in Pakistan over the last two weeks since the lockdown was eased. According to the official data, the COVID-19 cases have risen to 103,666 while 2067 patients have already died including 67 deaths during the last 24 fours until Monday morning. Some 34,355 patients have recovered so far.

Read More

Other cases

On Sunday, a Paisstan Peoples Party (PPP) parliamentarian from Sindh Sharjeel Memon also announced he had tested positive for coronavirus and had gone into self-isolation. Memon is the Sindh government’s focal person for coronavirus in Hyderabad and also attended the provincial assembly session a few days ago.

Last week, PML-N Punjab Assembly lawmaker Mian Naveed Ali from Pakpattan had tested positive for coronavirus.

Minister of State for Narcotics Shehryar Afridi tested positive for the virus joining a long list of lawmakers to contract the coronavirus in Pakistan. The ruling PTI’s chief whip in the National Assembly Aamir Dogar also tested positive for coronavirus, according to Pakistani media reports.

Earlier, a number of other politicians including: Awami National Party’s Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail; Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani; National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, and Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari also tested positive for coronavirus

Six lawmakers die

Meanwhile, at least six Pakistani lawmakers have died from coronavirus so far while dozens have tested COVID-19 positive.

PTI’s female parliamentarian in Punjab Shaheen Raza was the first lawmaker in the country to succumb to the virus. PTI MPA Mian Jamshid Uddin Kakakhel from Nowshera and PML-N MPA Shaukat Manzoor Cheema from Gujranwala also passed away after contracting coronavirus.

Also, Shaukat Manzoor Cheema, a lawmaker in the Punjab Assembly also died from coronavirus. He was a cancer survivor and had other complex health issues.

Another provincial lawmaker died of COVID-19. Ghulam Murtaza Baloch, provincial minister for human settlement, died of the coronavirus in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Karachi.

Last month, Syed Fazal Agha, a lawmaker in the Balochistan Provincial Assembly died at a Karachi hospital. He was also a former provincial governor of Balochistan.