KARACHI, Pakistan

Adviser to the Prime Minister for Health Zafar Mirza, who effectively acts as the health minister, has tested positive for COVID-19, joining a long list of lawmakers and politicians who have recently contracted the virus.

“I have tested positive for COVID-19. Under med advice I have isolated myself at home, and taking all precautions,” Mirza, who has been on the forefront in the country’s battle against the pandemic, tweeted on Monday.

“I have mild symptoms. Please keep me in your kind prayers. Colleagues, keep up the good work! You are making a big difference, and I am proud of you,” he added.

Recently, the former prime ministers, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, main opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif, and scores of ministers, lawmakers, and politicians have been infected with the virus. Many of them, including the two former premiers, and the opposition leader have recovered.

COVID-19 figures

With 3,344 new cases recorded over the past 24 hours, the country’s coronavirus tally has reached 231,818, of which 131,649 patients have recovered.

Another 50 people died of the disease in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 4,762, the data said.

Currently, Islamabad is following a strategy of ” smart lockdown” in scores of hotspots in some 20 big cities to mitigate the virus’s spread.

According to the official statistics, Pakistan has so far conducted 1,420,623 tests across the country.

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