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Pakistani Lawmaker, Former Governor Die After Positive Coronavirus Tests


Shaheen Raza (left), a member of the ruling Tehrik-e-Insaaf Party, and Syed Fazal Agha, the former governor of Balochistan Province, both died of COVID-19 on May 20.

A legislator in the provincial assembly of Punjab and a former provincial governor died on May 20 in separate hospitals after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Shaheen Raza, 60, a member of the ruling Tehrik-e-Insaaf Party, died in a hospital in Punjab Province, marking the first death of a lawmaker from coronavirus in Pakistan.

Pakistani President Arif Alvi expressed grief over her death and offered condolences to her family.

“I would like to condole the death of Punjab MPA Ms Shaheen Raza Chheema,” the Pakistani president said in a tweet on May 20.

Pakistan official Radio Pakistan reported that Prime Minister Imran Khan also sent his condolences.

Separately, the former governor of Balochistan Province, Syed Fazal Agha, who tested positive for the coronavirus and was admitted to a hospital in Karachi, Sindh Province, died on May 20, Pakistan's English-language Dawn newspaper reported, quoting hospital sources.

Pakistan has recorded 45,898 infections and 985 deaths from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Pakistan has relaxed the lockdown, and people are freely shopping in the markets for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr festival.

Meanwhile, mosques have also been opened for prayers, and many people have gathered without taking proper precautions.

Khan has repeatedly expressed his opposition to a complete lockdown, arguing that this will result in serious financial problems for lower-paid workers.

Several Pakistani parliamentarians and government figures have tested positive for the coronavirus. Prominent among them are Sindh Province Governor Imran Ismail, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar, and former provincial minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain.