Independent Senator Mirza Mohammad Afridi has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, it emerged on Tuesday.
He is the latest politician to have contracted the virus that has so far infected nearly 14,000 people across Pakistan.
Afridi, who hails from erstwhile Fata, said that he had gone to Peshawar last week, where he had distributed ration bags in different areas of the city. He started experiencing high temperature and body pain a few days back and had gotten himself tested “as a precautionary measure”. The senator received his results today.
He is currently in isolation at his home in Lahore and has said that he is feeling better, though the symptoms persist. Afridi urged his contacts to get tested as well.
Senate Deputy Chairperson Saleem Mandviwala contacted Afridi to inquire after his health. PPP Senator Sherry Rehman also sent best wishes to Afridi and expressed hope that he will make a complete recovery.
“Just spoke to him (Afridi) and he sounded positive. He is young, normally very active and can fight this off Inshallah,” she said in a tweet.
May Senator Mirza Afridi recover soon from this virus. He has tested positive and has self-quarantined immediately. Just spoke to him, and he sounded positive. He is young, normally very active and can fight this off inshallah 🙏
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) April 28, 2020
Afridi is not the first politician from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who has been infected; last month, Mardan MPA Abdus Salam Afridi was also diagnosed with Covid-19.
Yesterday, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail announced that he had been diagnosed with the virus. Prime Minister Imran Khan, via Twitter, wished him a “speedy recovery” today.
Last month, Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani had also tested positive for the virus, prompting the provincial Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and other members of his cabinet to take the test as well. Ghani made a full recovery a week later and resumed work.
Earlier this month, KP Director of Public Health Dr Ikramullah Khan had also tested positive for the virus. Last week, KP Health Minister Taimur Jhagra said that Kamran Khan Bangash, special assistant to the provincial chief minister, had also been infected and wished him a quick recovery.