PPP lambastes Centre over non-provision of protective gear to medical workers

By Asim Hussain

ISLAMABAD: The Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari slammed the PTI-led government on Friday over its “failure to fulfil basic demands of the doctors fighting coronavirus on the frontline”.
Bilawal, addressing a press conference, said: “Can you imagine Pakistan declaring war and sending its army without guns, bullets, and a uniform?”
The PPP chairman lamented that the doctors were only demanding two things — protective gear and a reduced burden on hospitals so that they may carry out their jobs more effectively. “The prime minister has failed to deliver […] He mentioned daily wagers in all of his addresses, but sadly none of them has received a single dime yet,” he regretted.
It is our responsibility to provide for them like we would provide for our armed forces, he said, adding: “We are trying to provide for our doctors who are in contact with COVID-19 patients, I know that all provincial governments are playing their due role as well.â€
“But the Centre should also play its role in supporting the provinces in the war against coronavirus,” he noted. “These are pressing times, but 74% of our labour force which comprises daily wagers are affected the most during these times,†he said. “In collaboration with the BISP, the Centre disbursed cash to the already registered beneficiaries but the daily wagers did not receive any thing.â€
The PPP chairman went on to say that the federal government had announced Rs2 billion for daily wagers after which it was revised to Rs70 billion, but none had received a single rupee. “During a national crisis, we cannot afford a delay [in such matters]. The Centre will have to take responsibility.†He said 400 doctors have been diagnosed with the disease, while nine have died. “I pay my respects to them,†he said, adding: “We also pay our respects to the daily wagers who have lost their livelihood due to the lockdown.