Talking exclusively to the Deutsche Welle, former Pakistani PM and opposition leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Khan has "no strategy to contain COVID-19."

"Imran Khan announced that the government would open the tourism sector, but the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where his own party is in power, has imposed an emergency," Abbasi said. "Infection rates are increasing, but our testing capacity is not."

Hayat agrees with the assessment. "The government has no coronavirus policy. It has not consulted doctors and health officials to devise the lockdown mechanism. Its decisions are solely based on economic interests."

Imminent catastrophe?
Meanwhile doctors fear the easing of physical distancing restrictions could put them in harm's way. "We are facing an acute shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators and other medical facilities. The government is not helping us, not providing protective gear to the medical staff working in emergency wards," Tipu Sultan, former president of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), revealed.
"On top of that, the government is easing restrictions and imams are holding mass prayers in mosques. It could all lead to a surge in coronavirus cases in the country. I fear that our entire public healthcare system will be overwhelmed," Sultan added.
An increasing number of Pakistanis feel the country is heading toward an unmanageable health crisis due to bad governance. "The onus is on the incumbent government and Prime Minister Khan. Yet they don't know how to deal with this situation," concluded Abbasi.
Haroon Janjua
© Deutsche Welle 2020
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