Coronavirus: Pakistan former cricket captain Shahid Afridi says he has COVID-19

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Pakistan’s former cricket captain Shahid Afridi announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for coronavirus.

“I’ve been feeling unwell since Thursday; my body had been aching badly. I’ve been tested and unfortunately I’m covid positive. Need prayers for a speedy recovery, InshaAllah ,” tweeted Afridi on Saturday.

Afridi’s announcement was reported by press across the Indian sub-continent and prompted well wishes from a range of Twitter users including Indian film influencer Sumit Kadel and British cricket stadium Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Multan Sultans's Shahid Afridi celebrates at the Multan Cricket Stadium, February 26, 2020. (AFP)

Multan Sultans’s Shahid Afridi celebrates at the Multan Cricket Stadium, February 26, 2020. (AFP)

 

Afridi, who is 40 years old, captained Pakistan’s cricket team from 2009-2011.

He retired from the sport in 2017, with the record of hitting the most sixes in the history of one day international cricket.

Afridi recently launched his autiobiography, “Game Changer,” in which he claimed he broke the record for the fastest-ever one-day ton aged just 19.

Shahid Afridi distributes rations to families during the coronavirus lockdown, May 4, 2020. (AFP)

Shahid Afridi distributes rations to families during the coronavirus lockdown, May 4, 2020. (AFP)

Coronavirus surge in Pakistan

Pakistan has experienced a surge of infections after it lifted already minimal lockdown measures in four provinces in June.

The country’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has argued that the country cannot afford the economic impact from a lockdown, but the World Health Organization has urged him to implement “intermittent” lockdowns to counter the surge.

On Friday, Khan unveiled a new budget that promised to double healthcare spending but made deep cuts elsewhere.

Pakistan’s economy was already struggling before the coronavirus hit.

 

The country has since called for debt forgiveness from international donors and the IMF as tax revenues cratered, inflation soared, the currency was devalued, and fiscal deficits widened.

“It is difficult to say anything with certainty about the coronavirus’s impact … but there is no doubt that our GDP — which we thought could grow around 3 percent — will now go down by around 0.4 percent,” Azhar told parliamentarians.

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