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‘We Are Better Than This’

by Newsweek Pakistan

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Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa lawmaker urges public to stay at home, protect the elderly

A senior minister of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government on Wednesday called upon influencers and the media to urge the public to do the right thing and practice social distancing and self-isolation in a bid to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“A long day and a sad night. We have lost two human lives to a challenge the likes of which I have not seen in my life. And yet we must overcome,” Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Taimur Jhagra posted on Twitter after Pakistan reported its first deaths from COVID-19—a 36-year-old from Hangu and a 50-year-old from Mardan. “Can I request every influencer, and everyone in the media, to prevail upon the public to do the right thing?” he said.

Referring to the recent media coverage of the different ways in which various provincial governments have been dealing with the pandemic, Jhagra said there would be plenty of time to “discuss which province beat the other.” He added: “And to analyze every decision everyone has made. But today, none of that analysis will help the people of Pakistan do what they need to do.”

Instead, said Jhagra, the time had come to practice social distancing and help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus to protect the lives of the vulnerable and elderly. “Stay at home if you can. Protect the elderly. It’s time to show leadership,” he said. “We are better than this,” he added.

Pakistan now has 304 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, with the majority occurring among pilgrims who were released from a two-week quarantine in Taftan this week and have started returning to their home provinces. Globally, more than 8,500 deaths have been caused by the coronavirus and at least 215,000 people have been infected.

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