Pakistani parliament speaker has coronavirus

World Grigory Matyunin 01-May-2020
Country Pakistan
Pakistan red pinpoint on map - © Raja Rc | Dreamstime.com

Asad Qaiser, the speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan has announced that he has tested positive for coronavirus following iftar dinners held in celebration of Ramadan as well as conducting meetings with PM Imran Khan and other government officials.

Khan was previously checked for the virus and tested negative after meeting with Faisal Edhi, head of the Edhi Foundation, who was discovered to have the disease.

The National Assembly is currently suspended although calls have been made for it to reconvene in order to discuss the way the coronavirus outbreak has been handled. Qaiser, who is now in self-isolation at home in Islamabad, is responsible for making the decision whether to reconvene parliament. The number of cases is approaching 17,000 and 385 people have died from the disease. Diagnoses have rising day by day with 990 people testing positive on Thursday. Approximately 8,000 tests are being conducted on a daily basis.

Restrictions on freedom of movement are gradually being eased. Various businesses have been allowed to return to work. Mosques were allowed to resume worship for Ramadan following pledges from senior clerics to defy existing restrictions.

A set of safety measures has been enacted to reduce the chances of infection in mosques, however, concerns have been raised that these were being flouted. Medical staff have asked the government to tighten the lockdown.