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Web Desk
April 1, 2020

Govt's decision to not implement a lockdown its biggest failure: Shahid Khaqan Abbasi


Web Desk
Wed, Apr 01, 2020

ISLAMABAD:  PML-N leaders slammed the government on Wednesday for its lacklustre response to the coronavirus pandemic, with former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi calling it the leadership's "biggest failure".

The party addressed a press conference in which they announced that party president Shehbaz Sharif is set to introduce a national action plan soon.

Abbasi said that it is the need of the hour to display national unity but the government’s behaviour is not on the right track in response to the outbreak.

He said that the four-pronged action plan in question, while covering certain new aspects, will reflect the importance of the lockdown, which is the sole method for the prevention of the coronavirus' spread.

The PML-N said that the next most important measure is to spread awareness regarding precautionary measures for people to take against the virus. 

He said that the government did not pay much heed to locking down the country, calling it the "biggest failure of the leadership".

“Practically, the entire Pakistan is under lockdown, some places more than the others… the prime minister seems to be unaware of this,” he said.

Abbasi emphasised on the need for economic processes to continue even during a lockdown. "A lockdown does not mean that the economy grinds to a halt."

He said that the action plan will also comprise a robust medical response as the virus is spreading by about   2.5 times daily.

'43% did not use preventive measures'

Meanwhile, quoting a foreign publication, PML-N's Ahsan Iqbal said that 43% Pakistanis did not use preventive measures against the coronavirus.

“We could not spread awareness among half of the population,” he lamented.

While criticising the prime minister’s oft-repeated  mantra 'You must not give in to fear', Iqbal said: “ The nation should not be told to not panic, it should be told to panic”.

‘High-risk areas should be identified’

PML-N leader Mussadiq Malik said that high risk areas should be identified so preventive measures could be put in place.

“If there is no screening in poor countries such as Pakistan then the total number of patients will not be known,” he said.

He cautioned that the next four weeks will be quite difficult and 100,000 people can likely get affected in one month’s time. Malik said if there is no national lockdown then the number could go up to millions.

He said that there is an urgent need of field hospitals and mobile-screening vans.

Pakistan's number of confirmed coronavirus cases crossed 2,000 on Wednesday, with 26 deaths.