Addressing a press briefing on Wednesday, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hailed India's financial package and stressed the need for other governments to follow suit at a juncture when many countries have enforced a lockdown. Maintaining that staying at home can have serious consequences for the most vulnerable sections of society, he called upon the nations to introduce social welfare measures to ameliorate the woes of the people. He acknowledged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had unveiled a comprehensive 24 billion dollars package including free ration for the disadvantaged, cash transfers to poor women and free cooking gas for the next three months. At the same time, he appealed for debt relief to developing countries for ensuring that they can implement such social welfare schemes.
"In #India, for example, Prime Minister @narendramodi has announced a $24 billion package, incl free food rations for 800 million disadvantaged people, cash transfers to 204 million poor women & free cooking gas for 80 million households for the next 3 months"-@DrTedros #COVID19— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) April 1, 2020
Dr. Tedros on Monday opined that lockdown had to be complemented with a proper procedure of identification, quarantine, and treatment to combat COVID-19. Highlighting that movement restriction is very difficult to accept in any community, he called upon governments to continuously communicate with the citizens. According to the WHO Director-General, this was not just applicable to India but everywhere.
On March 26, the Centre unveiling a financial package worth Rs.1.7 lakh crore to address the needs of the migrant workers, urban and rural poor, women, specially-abled people, and farmers. Some of the key announcements are providing an insurance cover of 50 lakh rupees for health professionals, an increase in MNREGA wages, direct cash transfer to farmers, poor widows, poor senior citizens, and free gas cylinders to BPL families for the next three months. Even Rahul Gandhi, a key leader of the opposition had lauded the package, terming it as the "first step in the right direction".