BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has tested positive for Covid-19, family sources and the party said yesterday.
Apart from her, all domestic helpers and staffers of her residence at Gulshan have also been infected with Covid-19, a close relative of Khaleda told The Daily Star.
"Madam [Khaleda Zia] got her Covid-19 test report around 1:00am yesterday. She has been suffering from mild fever and little cough. At present, the symptoms are not too serious yet…," the relative, said wishing anonymity.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday at an emergency press conference at the BNP chief's Gulshan office, said Khaleda Zia's condition is completely stable with no symptoms of Covid-19, even though she has tested positive.
"Our leader has undergone the coronavirus test. Her samples were taken to icddr,b yesterday [Saturday]. We came to know she tested positive for the virus," he said, adding the BNP chief is now being treated under her personal physicians, led by respiratory medicine expert Prof Dr FM Siddiqui, who will take further steps for her treatment if necessary.
"She's stable and fine. She has no high fever or other visible Covid symptoms," the party secretary general said.
"Her health condition is completely stable and her treatment is already ongoing. We would like to assure people that she is fine…," Fakhrul added.
Khaleda's relatives told The Daily Star that Dr Zubaida Rahman, daughter-in-law of the BNP chief, who has been staying in London with her husband Tarique Rahman since 2008, is arranging all possible medical facilities required for Khaleda.
"If needed, she [Khaleda] would be shifted to hospital," said the relative.
Fakhrul in the briefing said Khaleda urged the country's people to pray for her speedy recovery. "I, especially urge our party's leaders and activists at every level to seek divine blessings for our leader's quick recovery."
Asked whether Khaleda's domestic help, Fatema, and others who stay in her Gulshan residence, underwent the Covid-19 test, he said he has no idea about it.
"I only got information about our leader."
Earlier in the day, the health ministry's senior information officer Maidul Islam Prodhan said the BNP chief underwent the test on Saturday evening and the results came positive.
Khaleda's personal physician Mohammad Mamun told The Daily Star that around five-six days ago, a staffer at her house started feeling feverish. Three days ago, he tested positive for Covid-19.
Later, all six staffers living with there at that time also tested positive.
Two persons who stay with the BNP chief were also tested positive for Covid-19.
He said a cabin has already been booked for Khaleda at a private hospital. Moreover, all the arrangements, including oxygen, have been ensured at her home.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the government freed Khaleda Zia from jail for six months through an executive order suspending her sentences on March 25 last year.
She was released from the prison cell at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) the same day and, since then, has been staying at her Gulshan residence.
On August 27 last year, the government extended her release for six more months and it was extended again for the same amount of time on March 15.
On February 8, 2018, Khaleda was sent to the Old Dhaka Central Jail after a lower court sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. The High Court later doubled her jail term.
Khaleda was found guilty in another corruption case the same year. Her party claims both the cases are politically motivated.