Ex-health minister Nasim tests positive for COVID-19

Former health minister and Awami League leader Mohammed Nasim has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

He was admitted to the Bangladesh Specialised Hospital in Dhaka’s Shyamoli with COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever and cold, on Monday afternoon.

His son Tanvir Shakil Joy said Nasim had no breathing problem and tested negative for coronavirus four days ago.

Health workers took Nasim’s swab for test again after hospitalisation and the result came back positive in the night, according to Joy.

The presidium member of the ruling party will be shifted to the Combined Military Hospital or CMH in Dhaka on Tuesday, its Office Secretary Biplab Barua said.

Bahauddin Nasim, a joint general secretary of the ruling party, and Joy had earlier said the former minister was stable.

Joy said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had instructed them to move Nasim to the CMH.

“Abbu [father] has been unwell for different reasons. We hospitalised him after his pneumonic problem deteriorated,” Joy said in the afternoon.

Nasim’s wife and a domestic help had tested positive for coronavirus, another Awami League leader said, requesting anonymity.

Nasim is the son of M Mansur Ali, one of the four national leaders slain inside Dhaka Central Jail in 1975.

He became home minister when the Awami League returned to power in 1996.

Hasina did not keep him in her cabinet after victory in the 2008 elections, but made him health minister in the next term.

Zahid Malik, who had been the state minister for health during Nasim’s stint at the helm, is health minister now.