Afghan media reports say Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's special envoy on economic and trade development has died from COVID19.

Mohammad Yousuf Ghazanfar is the most senior Afghan official known to have died from the disease caused by the coronavirus.

TOLONews says Mohammad Yousuf Ghazanfar passed away in a hospital in Turkey on Friday (July 3) night.

President Ghani in a statement sent his condolences over Ghazanfar’s death.

Ghazanfar had reportedly endorsed President Ghani in the 2019 election.

Ghazanfar was member of the parliament from Balkh province in 2005 and was a member of the financial and budget committee of the Wolesi Jirga, Afghanistan’s parliament.  He ran for parliamentary elections in 2010.

He was a shareholder of Ghazanfar Bank, a private bank in the country.

In 2010, he survived an armed attack in which his bodyguard was killed and three others were wounded.

President Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, called Ghazanfar a patriotic person who was for peace and unity in the country.

Ghazanfar was the most high-ranking government official to have died from the coronavirus. 

Ghazanfar, an ethnic Uzbek, was born in 1965 and was a well-known businessman.  Ghazanfar was reportedly laid to rest in his hometown Balkh province on Saturday.

As of July 5, Afghan officials have reported 32,951 confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, with 864 deaths.