ISLAMABAD: Expressing grave concern over “non-serious attitude” of the federal government in the fight against coronavirus and alleged failure of the Punjab government to implement recommendations of the health authorities to impose a 30-day complete lockdown in the province, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has called for mandatory Covid-19 tests of all government employees, businessmen and traders.
PPP secretary general Nayyar Bokhari said in a statement here on Tuesday that his party had already pointed out “carelessness” and “wrong policies” of the federal government to combat Covid-19, but the Centre remained unmoved.
The PPP, he said, had already told the federal government that if coordinated efforts were not made to prevent the spread of coronovirus, there would be no space for the patients in the country’s hospitals.
“The PPP demands that in order to stop further spread of Covid-19 and for the sake of humanity, the government should declare corona test mandatory for all the government employees and those people who have been allowed to open their businesses,” Mr Bokhari said.
He said that with the opening of government offices and businesses, the people had started commuting and the number of coronavirus cases had already acquired a dangerous proportion in big cities. He said that after opening up of the federal and provincial offices, hundreds of thousands of people had started arriving in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta from their native towns and without undergoing Covid-19 tests.
Meanwhile, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari received a briefing from Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah in Karachi on the steps taken by the Sindh government against Covid-19 and locust attack.
After the briefing, the PPP chairman said in a statement that “non-serious attitude on the part of the federal government and individuals running it regarding Covid-19 and locust attacks was very dangerous.
Mr Bhutto-Zardari was informed that hundreds of children had been found infected with the virus, probably following the ease in the strict lockdown imposed by the Sindh government earlier.
He directed the Sindh government to continue its efforts to protect the citizens from the virus and locust attacks with whatever powers it had constitutionally and administratively.
Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2020