ISLAMABAD: Three members of parliament, including Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed and former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senior Vice President Shahid Khaqan Abbasi tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.
A statement released by the Railways Ministry said that although Rasheed, 69, has tested positive, he is asymptomatic.
The statement further said that Rasheed has gone into self-isolation and will remain in quarantine for two weeks as per doctors’ advice.
Separately, PML-N central spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, while confirming the news, said that Abbasi has quarantined himself within his home.
Abbasi, 61, had been out and about last week: he went to the Lahore High Court (LHC) to attend PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif’s bail petition hearing and also held a press conference alongside other party leaders including Aurangzeb and Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal.
Aurangzeb and Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, another PML-N leader, also got tested after Abbasi was diagnosed with the virus, as they had been in contact with the former premier.
Sharif expressed sorrow at the news and said: “Abbasi is an asset, we hope he will recover soon.”
Later in the day, ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Jai Parkash was also confirmed as testing positive for the pandemic. Parkash underwent the test on Friday after which he had attended a session of the National Assembly.
The situation appears to be grimmer as reportedly Parkash had also hosted an event of undisclosed nature on Friday evening which was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, PTI MP Lal Chand and et al. Pakistan Today tried to reach Parkash over the phone but his number was switched off.
Unverified reports suggest that both Chand and Qureshi have undertaken coronavirus testing after Parkash’s test came back positive.