Opposition to govt: Spell out proper plans to tackle Covid-19

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 19, 2020

Former Minister and senior Congress leader Ajay Maken

Congress says it supports ‘Janata’ curfew on Sunday

The Opposition parties pledged support for the Centre’s efforts to fight Covid-19. They, however, urged the government to spell out proper plans clearly to tackle the crisis than mere symbolic steps.

The Opposition Congress said it will support the efforts, including the Janata curfew, proposed by the Centre. “It is a fight of the humanity against Corona. We will join the government in this flight,” said former Minister and senior Congress leader Ajay Maken.

He urged the Centre to improve the testing facilities and capacities in the wake of new cases, reported even from villages. “There should be no scarcity of personal protection equipment,” he said.

Plea for transparency

He asked the Centre not to conceal any data on the number of patients. “There should be transparency in giving out information to the public,” he said.

“Community transmission hasn’t started yet. If it starts, the government may have to go for complete lock down. Preparations for this should be started now,” he added.

Reacting to the Prime Minister’s address, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said it is unfortunate that the PM has not spelt out anything about the government’s preparation and actions taken to help people fight the pandemic.

“Apart from the symbolism that PM proposed, what is the government doing to mitigate the crisis faced by the majority of India that cannot ‘work from home’ and survive on their daily earnings? They are already facing the brunt of the current economic recession, before the coronavirus. It is clear that the poor and the marginalised will suffer the most due to the shutdown. What is the government doing about making surplus foodgrains available to the marginalised sections?” Yechury asked.

He said the LDF government in Kerala had announced relief measures to alleviate the suffering of the poor.

“Kerala announced a ₹20,000-crore revival package today, free cereals for all for a month. A slew of relief measures for pensioners, auto and bus owners were also announced. Why did the PM not follow that lead and announce similar measures all over India?” he asked.

Published on March 19, 2020

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