In the backdrop of the threat posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Gujarat Congress has postponed Gandhi Sandesh Yatra slated for March 12. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was scheduled to take part in the yatra in Ahmedabad, while party's interim chief Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were expected to be present at its conclusion in Dandi in Navsari district on April 6.
The Yatra march was to be held to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's Dandi March. Starting from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, the yatra was supposed to trace the route of Gandhiji's historic Salt March in 26 days between March 12 and April 6.
Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee, in an official press release, said that they had planned to carry out a Gandhi Sandesh Yatra from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to Dandi beach in Navsari, but have decided to postpone the march.
"The 386 kilometres Yatra was to be started on March 12 by former AICC president Rahul Gandhi. But, seeing the increase in deaths due to Coronavirus in the whole world and going by the guidelines of WHO and Central government AICC has decided to postpone the march," the statement said.
It also said that the decision has been taken to avoid a large gathering for the citizens' welfare. This comes after the count of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India went up to 47. Two new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Pune, taking the total count to 47. Apart from this, 15 people are under observation for the virus in Maharashtra, however, no positive cases have been detected yet.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday had declared COVID-19 a 'pandemic' as the virus continues to spread worldwide. The virus, which has reportedly originated from Wuhan, China, has so far claimed 3,893 lives with 111,862 cases detected worldwide.
In his address on Monday, Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday said, "WHO has consolidated our guidance for countries in 4 categories: those with no cases; those with sporadic cases; those with clusters; and those with community transmission. For all countries, the aim is the same: stop transmission and prevent the spread of the virus. For the first three categories, countries must focus on finding, testing, treating and isolating individual cases, and following their contacts."