ISLAMABAD: The country risks "sleep walking" into a coronavirus catastrophe where death tolls reach levels seen in the West and perilously under-resourced hospitals are pushed to the brink, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari told AFP on Monday.
He said the country's response to the pandemic so far had been characterised by federal foot-dragging over a comprehensive lockdown and an unwillingness to divert cash to the buckling health care system.
"There is definitely a false sense of security that we've seen from the start of this crisis," Bilawal said in a video call from his Karachi office.
"We have seen a desire to ignore science and facts and the examples of what has been happening around us internationally, which has hampered us taking the timely and necessary action."
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The PPP chairman said said provincial health advisers, academics and experts had recommended tougher measures across Pakistan.
"We can bring the economy back to life, but we cannot bring people back to life," he said.
"If we just hope for the best and don't prepare for the worst... then Pakistan is sleep walking into a disastrous situation and I genuinely fear for the consequences."
He said the situation in Pakistan could be worse than the US or western Europe given the country's shortage of protective gear for medical staff, a lack of critical care beds and other problems with the underfunded health care system.