Amid rising coronavirus cases in the country, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that lockdown is only a 'pause' and not a 'solution,' He suggested the government to increase testing and use it strategically. He claimed that there will be a massive financial backlash after the lockdown ends and the first wave of 'unemployment' will begin. He also said that he would appreciate 'more detailed conversation' between the Prime Minister's office and the state governments. The Wayanad MP added that Covid can not be 'controlled it has to be managed'.
Rahul Gandhi said: "Parties must come together in this situation. Lockdown is in no way a solution to coronavirus. The virus will start its work again after lockdown, to fight the virus testing needs to increase dramatically. We have to start random testing and go ahead to preempt where the virus is going."
"This fight against Covid-19 has only just begun. To claim victory now would be a big mistake. We have to fight it as we go ahead."
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He added: "In no way does a lockdown defeat the virus, it stops it for some time, biggest weapon is testing, you can target the virus an isolate it. Our testing rate is 199 out of a million, if you look at all the test, its average is 350 test per district. This is no way enough to tell you how the virus is moving. Increase testing dramatically, you have to move to random testing, Pre-empting where the virus is moving, right now we are only tracing the virus, one advice to the govt, push testing aggressively, maximise testing, and use testing strategically. I am proposing scaling of testing and using testing strategically, testing levels are too low. "
Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended the lockdown in India till May 3. As of Thursday, 12380 cases, 1489 have been cured, while 414 has died. Rahul Gandhi also added that this isn't the time to do politics.
I disagree with Narendra Modi with a lot of issues but now is not the time to fight. Unite and fight the virus: Rahul Gandhi pic.twitter.com/PDB8GqQ1XO— ANI (@ANI) April 16, 2020
Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi last week responded by writing a letter to the PM on Tuesday. In her letter, she gave 5-points suggestion on how the Centre can tackle the economic stress and help the people amid an attack by the deadly Coronavirus. She also supported the decision taken by the Union Cabinet to reduce salaries for Members of Parliament by 30 percent.