National Commission for Women (NCW) chief Rekha Sharma on Wednesday responded to Rahul Gandhi after the Congress leader said that the Indian government does not have the ability to act decisively to tackle the outbreak of the coronavirus. Taking to Twitter, Rekha Sharma said that Rahul Gandhi is the only person who feels India is not doing enough. She asked Rahul Gandhi to ask his Congress colleagues who know how much the Indian government is working towards controlling COVID-19.
Rahul Gandhi, criticizing the government, tweeted, "Quick aggressive action is the answer to tackling the Coronavirus. India is going to pay an extremely heavy price for our government's inability to act decisively."
On Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi said India should be preparing itself not just for the novel coronavirus but for the economic devastation, which he said is coming as he compared it to a tsunami. “The Indian economy is going to be devastated. You have no idea the painful thing the country has suffered and it is coming. It is like a tsunami is coming,” Rahul Gandhi said while speaking to reporters, not once offering anything in the way of advice, or detailing where he feels the lacunae lie.
"I will tell u a story... In Andaman and Nicobar, before the tsunami came, the water went out. When the water went out, everybody went to get the fish. When they went, the water (levels) came up. I have been warning the government. They are fooling around... they are not clear about what to do," adding that "Coronavirus is like a tsunami".
"India should be preparing itself not just for COVID-19 but for the economic devastation that's coming. I am saying it again and again. I am sorry to say this but our people are going to go through unimaginable pain in the next six months," he said.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday praised the Indian government's commitment to combat the novel coronavirus -- a pandemic which has infected more than 168,000 people and killed over 7500 globally. Speaking to reporters after holding a meeting with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Henk Bekedam, the WHO Representative to India, commended the apex medical research institute for managing to isolate the strains of Sars-Cov-2.
"I think the commitment of the Indian government from the top level -- the Prime Minister's office himself -- has been enormous, very impressive. This is one of the reasons why India is doing very well. I am very impressed that everyone has been mobilised," Bekedam said. "We have very good research capacity in India and especially at the ICMR and the Department of Health Research. They have been able to isolate the virus, (and) now India will continue to be part of the research community," he added.
India has so far reported 152 cases of the novel coronavirus, while 3 people have died in the country from the infection.
(With agency inputs)