Pakistan’s Minister of State for Health Zafar Mirza attends a daily press briefing. File photo
Pakistan’s Minister of State for Health Zafar Mirza tested positive for the coronavirus, the latest high profile government minister to contract the virus.
Foreign Minister Moahmood Qureshi announced on Friday that he too tested positive for the virus.
The two men say their symptoms are mild. In a tweet on Monday, Mirza said he is self-isolating.
Pakistan has recorded 231,813 infections and 4,762 deaths. Prime Minister Imran Khan has refused to impose strict lockdowns, easing many restrictions, but ordering people to wear masks and social distance, though most people, especially among the poor and in the congested cities are not able to keep their distance.
The government has sealed hundreds of markets throughout the country where large numbers of infections have been discovered.
Pakistan also reported 4,734 new virus cases, raising its overall infections to 93,983. The latest 97 virus-related deaths sees the highest 24-hour increase to its fatalities, as authorities urged volunteers to motivate people to adhere to social distancing regulations to contain the spread of the virus.
Further complicating the dilemma, as the government pins its main hope for stemming the virus’ rampage on social distancing and masks, many in the public ignore calls to use them.
Still some medical professionals, particularly in the eastern city of Lahore, the capital of Pakistan’s Punjab province where nearly 60% of the country’s 220 million people live, are suggesting the virus may have peaked in June.
Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said police were alerted by members of the public to the incident at Scenery Park, about three kms from the city centre.
"While this bill doesn't do everything I want, it does include actions I've long called for that are going to save lives," he said at the White House before leaving for two major diplomatic summits in Europe.
Four explosions were heard at around 6:30am (0330 GMT), half an hour after air raid sirens sounded in the capital, which has not come under Russian bombardment for nearly three weeks.