A brother-in-law of Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah died on Thursday after testing positive for the coronavirus at a Karachi hospital, officials said.
Syed Mehdi Shah, the managing director of Sindh Industrial Trading Estate (SITE), had been hospitalised after he became ill after returning from Iraq. He was placed on a ventilator after his condition worsened.
The grade-19 officer, who was in his mid-50s, was diagnosed with Covid-19 on March 10.
A senior official in the Sindh industries department told Dawn that Mehdi had gone on pilgrimage to Syria and Iraq and also intended to visit Iran but could not go there because Tehran imposed a ban on foreign arrivals.
He came to Pakistan through Lebanon and also attended his office at SITE for a few days but was admitted to a private hospital after his fever did not subside. It wasn’t known as to where he actually contracted the virus, the official said.
A source at Chief Minister House said that he was also diabetic, which may have caused health complications that led to his death.
The official said Mehdi belonged to an educated family from Khairpur district. His father was a doctor, one of his elder brothers was a retired Pakistan Air Force officer while the second, Abid Ali Shah, remained a secretary in the Sindh and federal governments and a member of the Sindh Public Service Commission.
Mehdi entered government service in 1995 and also served as the deputy commissioner at different places including Mirpurkhas.
He left behind two daughters, a son and a widow to mourn his death, according to Zulfiqar Shah, another brother-in-law of Chief Minister Shah.
He will be laid to rest at the Wadi-e-Hussain graveyard after Fajr prayers.
Condolences pour in
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail in a tweet conveyed his condolences to Chief Minister Shah and his family over his brother-in-law's demise. He noted that Mehdi had been fighting Covid-19 for the past three weeks.
Sindh Minister for Information Syed Nasir Hussain Shah in a statement expressed his condolences, describing Mehdi as an amiable and kind person. He also prayed for the departed soul.
Provincial Minister for Energy Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh also expressed grief at Mehdi's death and prayed for his eternal peace.
MQM convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui in a statement condoled with Mehdi's family and voiced grief at his demise.