PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto on Monday discussed the nationwide situation due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic with PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif. During the telephonic conversation, Bilawal extended an invitation to Shehbaz Sharif to work together to mitigate the crisis caused by the disease, which has killed 25 individuals and infected more than 1,800. Shehbaz is reported to have lauded the performance of the Sindh government due to its timely actions to curb the spread of the coronavirus. “The coronavirus is a global pandemic which can be defeated with unanimous effort,” said the PPP chairman. On Thursday, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif had unveiled a plan to ensure the uninterrupted supply of food and medicines across Pakistan during the lockdown. The plan envisioned the use of utility stores for the purpose of ensuring continuity of food supplies to different districts. “Citizens should use phone lines and mobile phone applications to order food and medicines to their homes. The distribution of these items should be carried out through Pakistan Post and Railways,” Sharif said. “Baitul Maal, Benazir Income Support Programme, and other subsidies should be used by the government to bring down the prices of essential items across the country,” the former Punjab chief minister added. Last week, the PPP leader summoned the All Parties’ Conference (APC) summoned by him which was attended by the MQM-P, Jamaat-e-Islami, Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) leaders among other political parties. In the video-link session, Bilawal said that the APC was summoned to devise ways to fight the pandemic as unity is the need of the hour. The opposition leadership is in favour of a national lockdown as provinces continue stringent measures to curb the disease. PM Imran Khan, however, is in continued opposition to the idea of a national lockdown, maintaining that it would be highly detrimental to the poor. A day ago, the prime minister had announced the government’s measures to contain the coronavirus, saying that a relief team made up of the youth will be instrumental in winning the war against the pandemic. He issued a stern warning to hoarders and profiteers, warning them that the state will “make an example out of you”. Referring to the lockdown, PM Imran said that China had locked down Wuhan to contain the virus. “Had Pakistan’s situation been similar to China’s, I would have ordered a lockdown in our cities as well,” he said. PM Imran said that the nation will battle the coronavirus with two key elements: faith and Pakistan’s young population. “We have to combat coronavirus and use these two strengths to win the war [against coronavirus],” he said. Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday has demanded to summon meeting of National Security Committee (NSC) on coronavirus situation. According to details, the opposition leader in National Assembly (NA) said that the nation should be clarified about extending the lockdown across the country. The address of Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on coronavirus situation has raised several questions regarding important decisions taken by NSC, he added. Shehbaz Sharif said that hiding facts from the masses will create more problems for the federal and provincial administrations. Earlier, Shehbaz Sharif said that tests at large scale and quarantine centres, separate from hospitals, are solution to the coronavirus epidemic. Shehbaz Sharif said notice should be taken of rising cases in Punjab and God forbid a big disaster will occur if immediate action is not taken. The government is risking the lives of people by not conducting tests, he remarked. “There is lack of kits, medicines and other relevant medical facilities at all district and tehsil hospitals. Imran Niazi’s [Prime Minister Imran Khan] attitude is synonymous with surrendering before the pandemic,” he added.