Releasing a statement amid coronavirus outbreak in the country, Congress president Sonia Gandhi urged people on Saturday not to panic and said the country will not bow down to this painful crisis. She said that she firmly believes that country will overcome the situation.
In the statement, Gandhi urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government to increase the number of testing facilities across the country and make public the details of hospitals and medical facilities through a dedicated portal. She suggested a host of measures to help those affected due to the coronavirus and said a comprehensive, sector-wise relief package was required to be announced by the government to support those hit by its economic fallout. She also pitched for special budgetary allocation for enhancing the facilities to combat the virus.
"Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. A comprehensive, sector-wise relief package needs to be announced forthwith by the government, including necessary tax breaks, interest subvention and deferment of liabilities. For the salaried class, the government and the RBI must consider a deferment of EMIs," the Congress chief said.
Currently, there are 271 confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus in India with one death reported in Mumbai, Delhi, Kalaburagi and Punjab each. In Delhi, 26 people have tested positive for COVID-19. Addressing the nation on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked extensively about the challenges caused due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. He stressed that “resolve” and “restraint” were the two most important things to be followed. Thereafter, he announced that Janta Curfew - a curfew for the people and of the people would be observed on Sunday, March 22. On this day, all citizens except those providing essential services were requested not to step out of the house from 7 am to 9 pm.
(with PTI Inputs)