Dr. Shahbaz Gill, spokesman for PTI federal govt, on Thursday accused the Sindh government of pushing its narrative on Coronavirus issue (and mosques remaining open during Ramadan) through provincial doctors and healthcare workers.
Dr Gill launched his accusations through Twitter and later also took the same position in 92 News program, Hard Talk with Moeed Pirzada. (92 News, 8pm show). He also clarified his government’s position over the matter. He also maintained that the incumbent government believes in transparency.
The accusation came after a group of doctors made a public plea for enforcement of stricter lockdown measures to reduce coronavirus cases on Wednesday. Gill claimed that the doctors had held their press conference on the behest of the PPP, which is the ruling party in Sindh.
Over 100 healthcare workers infected with Covid-19 in Pakistan.
Of which 83 are doctors to date. https://t.co/0pge6fq6JB
— Benazir Shah (@Benazir_Shah) April 11, 2020
Doctors being used by Sindh Government?
He said that the recent decisions regarding the nationwide coronavirus strategy, which were criticized by the doctors, were taken during a session of the National Command and Operations Centre, where representatives of the doctors’ fraternity had also been present. Taking this to Twitter, he said, “It is unfortunate that after the Sindh government got tired of doing politics over the coronavirus issue, it pushed forward the doctors from Sindh.”
افسوس کی بات پی پی پی کی سندھ حکومت جب خود کرونا پر سیاست کر کر کے تھک گئی تو سندھ سے ڈاکٹروں کو سیاست کے لئیے آگے کر دیا۔جو فیصلے این سی سی میں ہوئے اس میں ڈاکٹر بھی موجود تھے۔ براہ مہربانی سندھ کہ ان چند سیاسی ڈاکٹروں سے گزارش ہے کہ آپ سیاست نہ کریں اس کے لئیے سندھ حکومت ہے ناں
— Dr. Shahbaz GiLL (@SHABAZGIL) April 22, 2020
In the same tweet, the former Punjab spokesperson requested the ‘few doctors’ from the province to not to ‘politicize’ the issue.
‘WORLD LAUDING SINDH GOVT’
Sindh government Spokesperson Murtaza Wahab angrily reacted to Gill’s statement, saying that the world is praising the efforts of the Sindh government except for ‘PTI’s incompetent’ members.
It is important to note that Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Matsuda Kuninori commended Pakistan’s tremendous efforts to tackle the coronavirus. Japanese ambassador said this while talking to Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza here in Islamabad. During the meeting, both leaders discussed the situation arising out of COVID-19.
Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has termed Pakistan’s measures against COVID-19 outbreak as ‘timely’ and the ‘best national response’. The Country Head of the WHO Dr Palitha Gunarathna Mahipala, while talking to media in Karachi during his visit to various hospitals and testing labs, said: “At a time when other countries were reporting cases, Pakistan was keeping the virus at bay, which is something quite praiseworthy.”
Moreover, Wahab said that the current situation warrants a unified response to the pandemic rather than divisive politics. “Learn to differentiate between those fighting the coronavirus and those begging,” he lashed out.
On Wednesday, a group of Karachi’s leading doctors, belonging to the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), had described on-the-ground realities faced by frontline workers in the fight against the coronavirus.
One of the PMA members, Dr Saeed Niaz, said that there was an impression that the coronavirus is not as serious issue in our country as in other countries. “The reason for [lower than expected numbers] is our testing capacity, which is an issue that will remain,” he said.
“If we hadn’t placed the country under lockdown, then the situation would have been different. Similarly, if we don’t act now, two weeks down the line, the situation will be very different.” “The [isolation] wards are all already 80% saturated. And in Pakistan’s case, there are more patients who are under 60 years of age,” he had warned.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday has requested the people to stay at their homes as much as possible during the coronavirus pandemic. The premier took to the social-networking website and posted that the more people show self-discipline, the easier it will be for us to manage the COVID-19 plus ease the lockdown gradually.
Analysts believe that Pakistan’s economic condition does not allow the country to prolong a curfew-like lockdown to manage the Coronavirus issue. Prime Minister Imran Khan has been of the view that any attempt to restrict daily wagers to their residences might lead to some serious law and order situation.
“People are running short of food now. There is no work for daily wagers. There is nothing to earn,” said G-M Pitafi, professor of Politics and International Relations at UMT, Lahore. He also feared that street crimes may increase, as people won’t have food and they will break both social norms and legal rules to fulfil their basic needs.