Pakistan's National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser is the latest politician and third Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI ) leader to test positive for COVID-19 that has infected 16,353 people across Pakistan, according to Dawn. The speaker of the National Assembly (NA), Asad Qaiser, as well as his son and daughter, have tested positive for the novel Coronavirus.
"My Coronavirus test has returned positive. I have quarantined myself in my house," Qaiser announced in a tweet on Thursday. His announcement comes three days after Sindh Governor Imran Ismail tested positive for Covid-19. According to media reports, more than 150 doctors and health workers have tested positive for COVID-19 and five have died in Pakistan.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday warned that the Coronavirus crisis could continue for months and lockdown was not a solution to the pandemic, as the total number of the COVID-19 infections rose to 16,117 with 358 deaths so far in the county.
"We don't know if the current situation will continue for six months or a year," Khan said while addressing the media along with his top advisors. "I know that the worst hit due to the lockdown will be poor."
Khan said the government so far disbursed 81 billion rupees among 6.6 million deserving families under Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme. He said the third category of the programme covered all provinces and Sindh was given the maximum relief funds under the Ehsaas programme.
He said the COVID-19 brought major devastation in counties like the United States and Italy, but the circumstances are quite different in Pakistan. He said the death rate in the country from the virus was lower than feared. Khan said the COVID-19 Tigers Force would be made operational from next week and would be asked to go the rural areas and help the people.
Planning Minister Asad Umar said that the Coronavirus was still under control in the country. It is true that we have a big number of cases and deaths. The number of deaths will increase in the coming days but our situation is not as bad as other countries," he said. He said that easing of the lockdown after May 9 will depend on whether people were following the restrictions and social distancing measures or not.
(With agency inputs)