National

Yechury urges PM Modi to scale up coronavirus testing during lockdown

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 23, 2020 Published on March 23, 2020

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury   -  PTI

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to scale up the testing of people, particularly those with declared symptoms, during the lockdown. He said such tests will help in finding out areas affected by the Covid 19 disease and enforcing the lockdown to those places.

He said all testing kits approved by the National Institute of Virology must be utilised. "It is strange that the Union Health Ministry has issued a circular that only those testing kits approved by the US FDA and European EC alone will be used. Reports indicate that there is only one manufacturer in Gujarat who produces such kits. In view of the gravity of the situation, this circular must be withdrawn and all kits approved by the NIV must be deployed for use, urgently," Yechury demanded.

He said crores of families that survive on the daily earnings are currently suffering grievously because of such lockdowns. "It is necessary that immediately at least ₹5,000 should be transferred to the Jan Dhan accounts and BPL beneficiaries. Ration kits must be supplied to the families of the children who used to benefit from the mid-day meal scheme. Free ration through PDS to all BPL/APL families should be given for a month," Yechury added in the letter.

"Many countries have announced that the government will guarantee the payment of at least 80 per cent of the salaries being drawn by workers who are now unable to attend work. Government of India should do likewise. Alongside there should be a moratorium on bank loans for a year for SMEs and retail traders as well as on EMIs," the letter said and asked for separate funds for a substantial package to save the lives and livelihood of crores of people.

Published on March 23, 2020

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.