New Delhi, March 25: Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday listed a two-pronged strategy to minimise the impact of coronavirus outbreak in India. The Gandhi scion, in a statement issued on social media, said the government must concentrate on combating coronavirus on the medical front, as well as the economic front. Stay tuned here for the live updates related to coronavirus outbreak in India and other parts of the world.
A revamp of the urban health infrastructure along with direct cash subsidies to daily wagers were suggested as immediate measures by him to the Narendra Modi government. "To bring the situation under control is a huge responsibility upon the government. I believe that our strategy under the current circumstances must be split into two parts," he said.
On the medical front, a strict lockdown should be enforced to minimise the human-to-human transmission of the virus, Gandhi said. The hospitals in urban areas must be equipped with the necessitated facilities, and the intensive care units (ICUs) must be increased, the former Congress president added.
On the economic front, Gandhi demanded direct cash subsidies to daily-earning labourers and free distribution of ration under the public distribution system (PDS). "Any delay in these two steps would prove to be detrimental," he added. He also demanded tax breaks and an economic relief package to mitigate the plight of small-medium businesses.
See Rahul Gandhi's Tweets
a. दिहाड़ी मज़दूरों को फ़ौरन सहायता चाहिए।उनके अकाउंट में Direct कैश ट्रांसफ़र हो।राशन मुफ़्त उपलब्ध हो।इसमें कोई भी देरी विनाशकारी होगी।
b. व्यापार ठप है।टैक्स छूट मिले, आर्थिक सहायता भी मिले ताकि नौकरियाँ बच जाएँ।छोटे-बड़े व्यापारियों को ठोस सरकारी आश्वासन मिले।
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 25, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday declared a total lockdown in the nation, which came into effect from midnight and would remain in force till at least April 15. During the period, all commercial and business activities, along with necessitated movement of civilians, has been barred. The government, Modi said, would take all measures to ensure the supply of essential commodities.
India has so far reported 562 COVID-19 positive cases, along with 10 deaths due to the novel coronavirus. Among states, the worst affected is Maharashtra where the tally of patients has breached the 100-mark. The government is hopeful that imposing a state of curfew would reduce people-to-people interactions, thereby bringing down the number of coronavirus infections.