DHAKA, Bangladesh 

A Bangladeshi minister tested positive for the novel coronavirus, an official said on Sunday.

Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing, the Chittagong hill tracts affairs minister, is the first in the country’s Cabinet to have tested positive for the virus.

“Minister Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing was suffering from coronavirus like symptoms for the last nine days and we got confirmation on Saturday night that he had contracted COVID-19,” Dr Aung Swi Prue Marma, a civil surgeon at Bandarban district, told Anadolu Agency.

The minister’s health condition was stable, the surgeon said, adding he was taken to Combined Military Hospital bitterly in the capital Dhaka on Sunday.

According to official figures, the total number of coronavirus cases in the country has surged to 63,026, while the death toll stands at 846.

Meanwhile, the government has imposed a complete lockdown in 50 districts that fall under red zone, and partial lockdown in 13 other districts as part of its new strategy to fight the novel coronavirus in the country.

Based on the severity of infections and death rate, the government has divided the country in three zones, red, yellow and green, according to the Health Ministry.

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