Islamabad: Pakistan's planning minister and the head of the nation's anti-coronavirus body has tested positive for COVID-19, the latest of several politicians in the country to contract the virus. Asad Umar, the minister for planning development and special initiatives, tweeted on Friday night: "Just got my covid test result and it is positive. Will be isolating at home.
Umar is heading the National Command and Operation Center, which is spearheading a national drive to combat the coronavirus pandemic. He is the latest of several politicians in Pakistan to test positive for the virus. They include Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. Meanwhile, Pakistan reported 3,179 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, pushing the country's total infection count to 454,673 Another 87 people died in the last 24-hours, taking the death toll to 9,250. At least 2,486 patients were in critical condition.
The second wave of the coronavirus has intensified in the country since November with Pakistan reporting a record number of daily deaths earlier this week, figures not seen since the peak of the virus during the summer. The country's current fatality rate due to COVID-19 is 2.02 per cent as compared to 2.22 per cent globally.