Karachi - Pakistan People s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Saturday said the coronavirus pandemic could only be overcome through global cooperation, as he made it clear that the rich and resourceful countries would have to help the poor nations. Bilawal has called on rich countries to help developing countries, saying that Pakistan too has been badly affected by the coronavirus.

He said that if coronavirus cases keep increasing in Pakistan, its health system would not be able to cope with it.

Speaking to British television channel Sky News, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that after the outbreak of the coronavirus, the opposition offered to carry out joint efforts with the federal government but sadly, the federal government was slow to respond to the deadly virus.

During the interview, he said that Pakistan had been badly affected by the coronavirus and we have a much weaker health system as compared to Italy or Britain, who were under immense stress at the moment. If coronavirus cases in Pakistan kept increasing, our healthcare system would collapse, he added.

“The health systems of even the likes of Italy and the UK had experienced a breakdown. Our health system is much weaker than that of Italy and the UK,” he remarked.

The PPP chairman said, “we can only avoid this epidemic through lockdown and social distancing as our health is not robust enough to cope with the outbreak.” Bilawal Bhutto said that poor countries do not have the resources to fight the virus on their own, developed countries will have to step forward and support developing and underdeveloped countries.

“The world powers and the countries with resources would have to ensure an equitable distribution of testing kits and health services around the world,” the PPP chairman stressed.

The pandemic can only be vanquished through multilateral cooperation. Resourceful countries will have to distribute medical supplies and a possible vaccine throughout the world in an egalitarian manner.

Bilawal warned that Pakistan’s medical system would collapse in case of coronavirus spread. He regretted that the federal government was acting slowly in the fight against coronavirus despite the fact that the opposition had offered a coordinated response. The provinces were working individually and receiving very limited assistance from the Centre, said the PPP chairman.

He also mentioned the Occupied Kashmir, saying India had been executing a complete lockdown in the region for the last 250 days, where the people did not have any facility. He further said that the international community would have to change its attitude as there was a lockdown in occupied Kashmir and people had no facilities since even before the spread of coronavirus.

Moving forward, the PPP chairman said that there were still inhumane sanctions on Iran where people were dying due to the coronavirus.

Mayor seeks funding from federal govt for unpaid pensioners

Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar has approached the Prime Minister of Pakistan regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) threat to over 5500 pensioners, who have been waiting for their post-retirement dues since 2015-16.

 According to details, while the novel coronavirus cases in Karachi are rapidly spreading, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation has restricted the entry of visitors in its main office.

  The majority of these visitors (almost 70%) are old aged retied employees of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, District Municipal Corporation (06 Nos), and a District Council, Karachi who have been frequently visiting KMC premises since 2016 to get their legitimate post-retirement dues cleared/paid.

Despite banning pensioner’s entry in KMC building as precautionary measures, these pensioners are now roaming around their respective bank branches by taking risk of getting infected by the coronavirus pandemic with the hope e to collect their pension benefits.

The KMC is facing immense financial crisis mainly due to short releases from Government of Sindh on account of salary & pension. A huge liability over Rs.3.5billion has been accumulated towards Pension Commutation / Gratuity, Family employees.  The mayor has requested the federal government to intervene to safeguard the life of pensioners from the adverse impact of deadly coronavirus pandemic and a “Pension Emergency Bailout Package” to the tune of Rs.3.50 billion may be sanctioned immediately, as the coronavirus appears to have a contagious financial impact on pensioners as a whole.

 

The KMC has no objection either disbursement of above pension dues may be made through the Sindh Governor or the elected representatives of the megacity, the main objective is to clear the above backlog which is increasing day by day, says a release.