Cong keeps up attack on Centre's handling of COVID-19

Congress keeps up attack on Centre's handling of coronavirus outbreak

Congress leaders said Rahul Gandhi had flagged the grave nature of the COVID-19 outbreak way back on February 12

Rahul Gandhi file photo (DH Photo)

Congress on Tuesday kept up the attack on the Modi government’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, targeting it on reports of shortages of personal protection equipment (PPE) for doctors treating patients of the contagious disease and demanding the ouster of Textiles Minister Smriti Irani and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.

“I am feeling sad, because this was completely avoidable. We had time to prepare. We should have taken this threat much more seriously and should have been much better prepared,” Rahul said on Twitter reacting to a Haryana-based doctor’s complaint on social media about shortage of masks and gloves at a district hospital.

Congress leaders said Rahul had flagged the grave nature of the COVID-19 outbreak way back on February 12 and accused the Modi government of not taking the former Congress President’s advise seriously.

“Respected Prime Minister, WHO's advice 1. Ventilator 2. Surgical Mask, why did the Indian government allow the export of all these things till March 19, instead of keeping sufficient stock? Which kind of forces have encouraged these games? Isn't this a criminal conspiracy,” Rahul had asked.

Congress chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala accused the Modi government of putting the lives of doctors, nurses and health workers leading the fight against Covid-19 into jeopardy.

“Commerce Minister permitted export of Masks, Coveralls, Ventilators until 19th March as India faced scarcity. When will this equipment be available now? Please tell a time frame. Also, what should the doctors, nurses and health professionals do in the interregnum period,” Surjewala asked.

In an open letter, Rahul also appealed to the people to follow strict isolation to flatten the curve of the spread of the Covid-19.

“I strongly appeal to each of you to follow strict social isolation and distancing measures. Containing the virus requires us to minimise our contact with people as much as possible,” Rahul said in the letter in English and Malayalam, targeted at his constituents in Wayanad Parliamentary constituency.

Rahul said global public health experts have warned that a large number of cases remain undetected in India and could “spread in the absence of containment measures”.

The fight against the epidemic, he said, involved making urgent lifestyle changes and noted that the next 3-4 weeks were crucial for India.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox