The Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) President, Shahbaz Sharif, has asked the government to immediately start implementing China-style lockdown to protect Pakistanis against spread of COVID-19.
Before departing for Pakistan in a video statement, the PML-N president demanded that a lockdown will prevent the spread of coronavirus and protect the masses. Shahbaz said the government must prepare to enforce the lockdown and must finalise all arrangements, including provision of food and other essential items.
The PML-N president said the lives of Pakistanis must not be jeopardized amid the worsening state of the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, he stressed that a lockdown, along the same lines as China, must be implemented and all required arrangements be made on war footings.
The opposition leader warned that a human catastrophe as a result of any further "carelessness and dereliction" in this regard would be absolutely unacceptable.
The PML-N president said the PTI government would be responsible for any and all consequences of delaying the lockdown. Meanwhile, taking a jibe at Shahbaz Sharif's decision to return to Pakistan, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has said that it is his request to the prime minister that Shahbaz Sharif be kept in quarantine in Mayo Hospital for two weeks.
In a tweet on Saturday, the federal minister said that Shahbaz Sharif should be subjected to quarantine in Mayo Hospital for 14 days so that he can understand the importance of hospitals. He commented why such leaders challenge the intelligence of the people of Pakistan.
The PML-N spokesperson, Marriyum Aurangzeb, on Saturday also confirmed the return of the party president, who was abroad to tend to his ailing brother former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
The PML-N spokesperson made the announcement as quoted by the PML-N Twitter account. Marriyum said the PML-N president had taken the decision due to the deteriorating condition of coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan. She said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif would undergo a cardiac intervention surgery next week.
Marriyum said that Shahbaz would arrive back in Pakistan on a PIA flight. Sharif family sources revealed that Nawaz had asked Shahbaz to stay in Pakistan to help victims of the coronavirus, and be among the masses during their time of need.
The PML-N president's decision was also welcomed by Maryam Nawaz Sharif who is vice president of the party and the daughter of Nawaz Sharif. She also took the Twitter by saying that the people of Punjab were really missing him but now the political opponents have also acknowledged the best services rendered by Shahbaz Sharif to the people of Pakistan.