New Delhi, April 16: Congress lawmaker Rahul Gandhi on Thursday reiterated the government must ramp up testing to defeat coronavirus, adding that the nationwide lockdown is not a solution. Speaking to media representatives through video conferencing, Rahul Gandhi said the lockdown only halts coronavirus and once the shutdown is over the number of cases will increase. To avert this situation, Gandhi said, the government should scale up testing. Coronavirus Tracker Live.

"Lockdown is in no way a solution to coronavirus. Lockdown is like a pause button. When we come out of the lockdown, the virus is going to start its work again," Gandhi said. "That's why we need a proper strategy. Lockdown gives you time to increase testing, prepare hospitals and get ventilators. But it cannot defeat the virus. The biggest weapon is testing so that you can isolate the virus and defeat it," he added. Coronavirus Cases in India Rise to 12,380, Death Toll Due to COVID-19 Jumps to 414. 

Asked whether he is satisfied with the Modi government's response to the coronavirus crisis, Rahul Gandhi said the Centre is only "chasing" the virus and not trying to go ahead of it. "The number of testing that we are doing is not enough to understand where the virus is moving. You have to move to random testing and pre-empt where the virus is moving. One advice to the government is, push testing aggressively. Maximise testing and use testing strategically, to assist states in their fight," he said.

Rahul Gandhi Video Conference With Media Over Coronavirus:

The Wayanad MP said the government should prepare a minimum financial net like Congress's proposed NYAY scheme. "You don't have to call it NYAY scheme," he remarked. "Don't take it as criticism," he said. "I don't want to go into the past. We must fight unitedly together and not get into the blame game. Instead, let's use our resources carefully and give the money to states and districts," he added.

Rahul Gandhi also predicted "waves of unemployment" and "massive pressure on the financial system" due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown. "I would suggest the government to use money strategically and manage structure. A large amount should be spent for protection of the people," he said.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 16, 2020 01:40 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website