Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday expressed hope that the country will “overcome” the coronavirus crisis with “resilience” and “determination,” as she appealed to the citizens to stay at home at maximum times and exercise utmost precaution.
“India will not bow to this painful crisis. Let us stand united in braving this challenge. Together, we will overcome this,” she said in a statement released by the party. “Let’s now forget that precaution and prevention are among the most effective remedies. I appeal to all fellow Indians to stay at home, unless urgency and exigencies demand otherwise,” said Sonia.
Noting that it were the elders and kids below the age of 10 who needed to be “insulated” amid the ongoing health crisis, Sonia said everyone should spread awareness on the benefits of hand-washing and not touching eyes with bare hands among other preventive measures.
Further, the Lok Sabha MP from Rae Bareili suggested a slew of measures to the government in a bid to improve their response to the virus, noting with concern the low testing rates in the country.
“Testing is the key to prevention. In a nation of 130 crore, only 15,701 samples are reported to have been tested so far. Despite ample time, early warnings and lessons from other nations, we appear to have under-utilized our public and private sector capacities,” she said, adding that this needed to change.
Sonia further highlighted the reported “scarcity” of personal protective equipment (PPEs), including masks and gloves among others, also calling upon the government to provide special incentives to doctors and healthcare workers who were at the forefront of fighting the crisis.
“As the numbers grow, non-availability of sufficient protective gear and lack of incentives can be a huge deterrent,” she said.
Stating that ‘extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures,’ Sonia also called upon the government to device a special sector-wise package for industries affected by COVID-19.
“COVID-19 has also impacted the biggest employment generator – the agriculture sector. Our farmers, cultivators and farm labourers are bearing the brunt. To top it, the unseasonal rains and hailstorms across India have added to their woes. Government must consider a special relief package for the agriculture sector also,” the Congress veteran said in her statement.
The appeal by the Congress President came on the eve of the nationwide ‘janata curfew’, called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a bid to disrupt the community transmission of the virus. PM Modi had also called for encouraging the practice of social distancing to check the spread of the virus, in a televised appeal on Thursday.
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