KARACHI: Three more members of the Sindh Assembly - Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan's Ali Khurshidi, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's Shah Nawaz Jadoon and Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP's) Noor Ahmed Bhurgri - tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday.
Their diagnosis came three days before an assembly session scheduled for June 3.
Keeping in view the growing number of coronavirus cases, it was made mandatory for all MPAs attending the session to get themselves screened for the virus, while arrangements have also been made for screening MPAs and other staff at the assembly's secretariat on June 3.
Earlier, when Sindh Assembly speaker Agha Siraj Durrani had summoned a session on May 20, on the requisition of opposition parties, multiple measures were introduced in a bid to protect the assembly members against the coronavirus.
Sindh Assembly secretary GM Umer Farooq had made clear that proper social distancing measures would be implemented in the assembly session, along with the provision of sanitisers to MPAs, besides thermal guns being used to check temperatures of the participants at the assembly's entrance.
"No person will be allowed inside without a face mask," he had said, adding that they were also making seating arrangements with sufficient gaps between the MPAs. The provincial health department has been asked for its recommendations regarding the use of air conditioning at the assembly building as well.
The number of Sindh Assembly members who have been infected by the virus has now increased to 10. Previously, PPP's Sajid Jokhio, Sadia Javed, Sohrab Khan Sarki, Liaquat Ali Askani, Sindh Human Settlements Minister Ghulam Murtaza Baloch, Sindh Education and Labour Minister Saeed Ghani and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal's Syed Abdul Rasheed had tested positive for the virus. Among them, Ghani and Rasheed have recovered from the disease.
Meanwhile, Baloch, who was recently hospitalised, has reportedly been taken off ventilator after his condition improved, though he remained in the intensive care unit of a private hospital.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2020.