PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz has tested positive for Covid-19.

Reports of Dr Niaz having contracted the virus emerged when Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in a tweet paid tribute to the officer for leading the fight against Covid-19, and prayed for his speedy recovery.

Mr Niaz was in high spirits when Dawn contacted him. He said he couldn’t sit around while professionals and officers were on the front-lines fighting the pandemic. “It is a challenge and I have to be on the forefront,” he said.

“He has been working day and night against the coronavirus outbreak,” the chief minister said in his tweet, referring to Mr Niaz.

The chief secretary was seen visiting quarantine facilities, hospitals, laboratories and isolation centres while touring districts to oversee arrangements amid the pandemic.

A senior security official acknowledged the chief secretary’s contribution in trying to overcome the formidable challenges to public safety and well-being. “KP is lucky to have him as the chief secretary in these challenging times,” he said. “He is clear-headed and takes prompt decisions,” he pointed out.

Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2020