Shehbaz urges nation to come together to combat coronavirus pandemic

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif says this was not the time to do politics and the entire nation needed to come together to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

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In his address via video link, the PML-N president said we stood with the families of those who passed away from the disease.

“Today the number of cases in the country stands at 892 and a positive case of the virus was also reported in a Lahore prison,” he said.

“I was in London with my brother. Nawaz sent me to Pakistan when the epidemic broke in Pakistan,” Shehbaz added.

The PML-N president said this is not the time to do politics. “We need to come together at this time and play our part in combating the virus. The political leadership had called for a lockdown but it did not happen.”

“It is good to see the provinces taking action and enforcing the lockdown. Punjab government did the right thing,” he noted.

“Time demands that we turn this challenge into an opportunity and face this crisis jointly,” he remarked.

“I believe we will come out of this challenge,” Shehbaz added.

Speaking about the debacle at Taftan, the PML-N leader said if protocols had been followed, the situation would not have deteriorated. “If there had been proper testing, quarantine, isolation centres, then this outbreak would not have happened in Pakistan,” he said.

“We need to move forward and solve this issue. There is no cure for this disease yet, which is why we should take precautions and be responsible. I urge the citizens to cooperate with the government,” he added.

“I believe we will come out of this challenge,” Shehbaz added.

Speaking about the debacle at Taftan, the PML-N leader said if protocols had been in place, the situation would not have escalated. “If there had been proper testing, quarantine, isolation centres, then this outbreak would not have happened in Pakistan,” he said.

Pilgrims should not have been treated like this and the attack by the virus would not have been that huge, Shehbaz said.

“We need to move forward and solve this issue. There is no cure for this disease yet, which is why we should take precautions and be responsible. I urge the citizens to cooperate with the government,” he added.

He added that everyone should follow the guidelines given to them. “I have asked my party workers to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies during this time,” he added.

The former Punjab chief minister urged the prime minister to summon a session of Council of Common Interests to address the issue.

“Doctors salary should also be increased and during this time we can save around 80 billion if we decreased the interest rate and diverted it towards initiatives to combat the virus,” Shehbaz said, adding that Rs5,000 electricity bills and Rs2,000 gas bills should be deferred as people did not have the resources to pay.

The opposition leader in the National Assembly also lauded the role played by the media in leading the information campaign.

“The government right now should make a big campaign and launch it with the help of the media,” he suggested.

Rounding off his presser the PML-N leader said that the nation had overcome many challenges before and would do so again this time.

“In the past, we had bigger challenges like earthquakes and now we will get out of this pandemic. In this difficult time, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the government and will work with them,” he added.

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