NA speaker Asad Qaiser goes into home quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19

Updated 01 May, 2020

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National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser urged the nation to take precautions and sought their prayers. — Photo courtesy GOP Twitter/File
National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser urged the nation to take precautions and sought their prayers. — Photo courtesy GOP Twitter/File

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser on Thursday became the highest government functionary to test positive for the novel coronavirus.

"My coronavirus test has returned positive. I have quarantined myself in my house," Qaiser announced in a tweet.

He urged the nation to take precautions and sought their prayers.

Geo.tv reported that Qaiser's son and daughter have also tested positive for the virus.

His announcement comes three days after Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, who like Qaiser belongs to the ruling PTI, tested positive for Covid-19.

Also read: PM, aides reiterate 'coronavirus situation not bad' in Pakistan

Both Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla made telephone calls to the National Assembly speaker to inquire after his health. They prayed for his early recovery.

Mandviwalla also inquired after the health of his son and daughter.

Qaiser is the latest politician to have contracted the virus that has so far infected more than 16,000 people across Pakistan and killed 361.

On Wednesday, PPP MPA Rana Hamir Singh had tested positive for the virus and a day earlier, independent Senator Mirza Mohammad Afridi too was diagnosed with Covid-19 and subsequently went under isolation at his home in Lahore.

Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal MPA Abdul Rasheed, who is a member of the Sindh Assembly, had last week also tested positive.

Earlier this month, KP Director of Public Health Dr Ikramullah Khan had also tested positive. Last week, KP Health Minister Taimur Jhagra said that Kamran Khan Bangash, special assistant to the provincial chief minister, had also been infected and wished him a quick recovery.

Also in April, a brother-in-law of Chief Minister Shah had died after testing positive for the coronavirus at a Karachi hospital.

Last month, Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani had been infected with the virus, prompting the provincial Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and other members of his cabinet to take the test as well. Ghani made a full recovery a week later and resumed work.

Mardan MPA Abdus Salam Afridi was also diagnosed with Covid-19 last month.

NA Secretariat offices to remain closed until May 9

Also on Thursday, it was decided to keep the offices of the National Assembly Secretariat closed until May 9.

The offices were earlier closed until April 30 in view of the coronavirus pandemic, a statement issued by the NA spokesperson said.

It added that the administration department, standing committees, Public Accounts Committee, legislation and matters concerning international relations will continue to function or progress on a limited scale.

Duty officers have been assigned for the above departments who will complete the "most important" tasks of their offices during alternate days, according to the press release.


With additional reporting by Amir Wasim and Javed Hussain in Islamabad.