Cong terms lockdown futile without tests; party playing politics, says BJP

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 02, 2020 Published on April 02, 2020

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) criticised the Centre for implementing the lockdown without doing more tests for Covid-19. At the CWC meet held through video conferencing facility on Thursday, the party asked the Centre to revise its “flawed strategy” by immediately scaling up testing.

The BJP retorted that the Congress is playing politics.

Politics, retorts BJP

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, the country’s efforts to fight the coronavirus are being lauded at home and abroad. “130-crore Indians are united to defeat Covid-19,” the Home Minister said in a tweet. “Yet, the Congress is playing petty politics. High time they think of national interest and stop misleading people,” Shah added.

The CWC reiterated its total support to State governments in their efforts to deal with the circumstances and pledged to continue its “unstinted” support.

“It is in a spirit of cooperation and constructive criticism that the CWC wishes to point out that the measures taken by the Modi government so far leave much to be desired and there are several grave shortcomings. It is imperative that we address these shortcomings,” a CWC statement said.

It said a lockdown or any other kind of restrictions is futile unless accompanied by extensive testing. “It is extensive testing that has yielded results in some countries. Inexplicably, we have not put to full use even our limited testing capacity. The flawed strategy must be revised and testing must be scaled up urgently. Simultaneously, the government must undertake massive production and procurement of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), Hazmat suits, full-body overalls, goggles, gloves, N-95 masks, ventilators, etc., and make them widely available to doctors, nurses, health workers as also hospitals,” it said.

It said the Centre has not given any thought whatsoever to the deteriorating economic situation. “This does not brook any delay. Many useful ideas are on the table. The CWC demands that the government should immediately appoint an Economic Task Force consisting of world renowned economists to suggest three plans: (1) an emergency plan within one week; (2) a short/medium-term plan within one month; and (3) a medium/long-term plan within three months in order to protect and revive the economy,” the statement said.

In her opening remarks, party president Sonia Gandhi asked the Centre to prepare and publish a Common Minimum Relief Programme. “This is vital and will help alleviate several of the concerns that currently afflict all people,” she said.

Published on April 02, 2020

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