Won't return to Pak until people stop treating COVID-19 as 'joke', says actress Bushra Ansari

Karachi, Jun 2 (PTI) Popular Pakistani actress and comedian Bushra Ansari, who is currently in Canada, has said she won't return until Pakistanis act seriously and stop treating the coronavirus pandemic as 'a joke'.

Pakistan's COVID-19 cases reached 76,398 on Tuesday, while the death toll has gone up to 1,621. The number of coronavirus cases have risen sharply in the country since the government eased the lockdown and lifted restrictions before Eid last month.

'The people of Pakistan have led to the spread of the virus in the country,' Ansari said.

Sharing a video message from Toronto with her fans on Monday, Ansari said she can't return to Pakistan until 'we get our act together'.

'I can't help but miss Pakistan. And I can't return because you all are roaming the bazaars and taking the COVID-19 as a joke,' she said.

Many videos and pictures have been circulating on various media showing several Pakistanis ignoring the rules of social distancing and crowding at market places. In some videos, many Pakistanis have even denied the existence of the coronavirus pandemic.

'You all are not understanding. you're treating this as fake or a joke. and because of that, it's spread so much and we are stuck here wondering when and how to return. We're scared, people are telling us not to go back. I can't return because of you,' Ansari said.

Ansari, who has acted in many hit drama serials and appeared on numerous popular satire and comedy shows, requested her country people to 'stop this spread, save lives. Stay home, stay safe'.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in an address to the nation on Monday said Pakistani people have to learn to live with COVID-19 this year to save the economy and it was up to them to show responsibility and follow all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the health authorities.

Over the past few weeks, several Pakistani celebrities have confirmed that they have tested positive for the coronavirus and are in quarantine. Some of them include singer Abrar ul Haq, actresses Sakina Samoon and Rubina Ashraf.

Popular television host Nida Yasir and her actor-producer husband Yasir Nawaz have also been quarantined at home after testing positive for the virus. Their daughter also tested positive for the virus. Later it was revealed that the entire production team which was present on the set of a morning show hosted by Nida had been infected. PTI CORR SCY