by Staff Correspondent in Dhaka;
Former Bangladeshi prime minister Khaleda Zia has been tested positive for Covid-19, physicians and her Bangladesh Nationalist Party said on Sunday.
Khaleda has been asymptomatic and was doing well, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, secretary general of the party told a news briefing adding that she had urged the people to pray for her.
Health technicians collected the former prime minister’s swap on Saturday and the test result came positive a day after, he said.
The 74-year old politician has been under the supervision of her private physicians at home in Dhaka’s Gulshan neighbourhood since she was released from jail after the government suspended her prison term on health ground in March last year.
Khaleda, a three-time prime minister in the 1990s and 2000s, had been in prison since February 2018 after a court sentenced her to five years in jail for misappropriating funds meant for orphans. A higher court later doubled the term.
Eight other staff members of her home have also been tested positive for the Covid-19, said her physician Mohammad Al Mamun. He added that Khaleda’s body temperature was normal, but arrangement was kept ready in case her health condition deteriorates.
A room was booked at a private hospital for her treatment, if necessary, informed the physician.
Bangladesh has reported a surge in the Covid-19 cases since March prompting the government to enforce a nine-day nationwide shutdown until Tuesday.
Yet another seven-day lockdown will be imposed from Wednesday to slow the spread of the virus.
Some 684,756 cases of with 9,739 deaths have so far been reported in Bangladesh since the country reported the first infections in March last year.
Bangladesh also decided to suspend all international flights to and from Bangladesh from Wednesday.