Two lawmakers pass away from Covid-19, two others test positive

Published June 3, 2020
MPA from KP Mian Jamshedud Din Kakakhel (left) and MPA from Punjab Shaukat Manzoor Cheema passed away from the coronavirus on Wednesday. — Photo courtesy: Radio Pakistan/Twitter
MPA from KP Mian Jamshedud Din Kakakhel (left) and MPA from Punjab Shaukat Manzoor Cheema passed away from the coronavirus on Wednesday. — Photo courtesy: Radio Pakistan/Twitter

Two members of the provincial assembly (MPAs), one from Punjab and the other from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, passed away from Covid-19 on Wednesday, a day after Sindh minister Ghulam Murtaza Baloch died from the disease.

In KP, ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's (PTI) Mian Jamshedud Din Kakakhel died in the morning at Islamabad's Kalsoom Hospital. He was on a ventilator after having tested positive for the novel coronavirus last week, according to Radio Pakistan.

Kakakhel, 65, was elected to the provincial assembly from Nowshera in 2018.

Information Minister Shibli Faraz said he was "deeply saddened" over the passing away of the PTI leader. In a tweet, he said Kakakhel's services for the party would be "remembered forever".

Later in the day, PML-N MPA from Wazirabad, Punjab, Shaukat Manzoor Cheema also passed away from the virus, his colleague in the Punjab Assembly, MPA Bilal Farooq Tarar confirmed.

Cheema had been undergoing treatment at the Pakistan Kidney And Liver Institute (PKLI) in Lahore.

"His condition had significantly improved a few days back ... he was taken off the vent. Deteriorated all of a sudden today," Tarar wrote on Twitter.

PML-N President and Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif expressed grief on the passing away of his party's lawmaker. "He was an important asset of the party and his services were unforgettable," Shehbaz added.

Two more MPAs test positive

Two more MPAs from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly also tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday. Both the MPAs belonged to the Awami National Party (ANP).

The ANP confirmed that Faisal Zeb Khan and Salahuddin Khan had tested positive.

KP Director General Health Services Dr Tahir Nadeem went into quarantine after testing positive for the coronavirus a day earlier. A notification from the health department confirmed that Nadeem had gone into quarantine and stated that Additional Director General Dr Niaz Mohammad would assume charge until the former returned.

A day earlier, Ghulam Murtaza Baloch, Sindh’s minister for human settlement, died after testing positive for coronavirus more than three weeks ago, officials and his family sources said.

The 55-year-old senior member of the PPP, who was elected member of the Sindh Assembly from the party’s stronghold of PS-88 (Malir), tested positive for Covid-19 on May 14. His condition from day one, the officials said, remained critical and he was even shifted to the intensive care unit of a private hospital.

Some half a dozen members of the Sindh Assembly belonging to both the opposition and ruling parties have tested positive for Covid-19 during the last one month.

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