Amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country, Congress leader and former Union Minister P Chidambaram on Monday said that the Centre is not doing enough to prevent a mass outbreak of the deadly virus in the country and urged for a video conference between the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers of various states.
Speaking to news agency ANI, he said, "The government is not doing enough on coronavirus. I have no quarrels if the Prime Minister wants a meeting with the SAARC or G-20 countries it may have some benefits. But the question is whether we are behind or ahead of the curve. My feeling is that the states are taking better measures whereas the Centre is very diffident. There should be a video conference between the Prime Ministers and Chief Ministers."
"The rate at which the infection is galloping is worrying. Last week the number (of those infected) was around 32 and this Sunday the number has reached 107. And there are many others who are not presenting themselves for testing because there are not enough testing facilities, these are the matters which the government should address," he added.
The Parliamentarian further slammed the government for increasing the excise duty on petrol and diesel. "Sensex is just one indicator, while its decline should worry us we should ask more fundamental questions. What has the government done today, it has increased the excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 3 per litre. The transport industry is already down because of low demand and their earnings are down already," Chidambaram said. "This is not the time to suppress demand, it is the time to stimulate. The government is doing exactly the opposite," he added.
The number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in India has gone up to 110, according to the Health Ministry data as of Sunday night. Out of the 110 cases, 17 patients are foreign nationals. Moreover, of the total tally, two persons have passed away due to the disease, with one death having occurred in Karnataka’s Kalburgi and the second one in Delhi. Nine patients have also been discharged after having been recovered.
Globally, there have been over 1.69 lakh confirmed cases of COVID-19. At least 6,500 people have died so far — the majority of them in China. However, infections have steadily risen in Iran, Italy, South Korea, Spain and the United States.