Sonia Gandhi today issued a press statement on fighting Coronavirus in which she emphasized the need for all to stand united. President of the Indian National Congress noted that the scarcity of PPEs and the lack of information as well as uncertainty surrounding the issue were making the situation complex. Apart from suggesting that prevention and precaution were the best remedies, she also advised not to panic. The press statement includes seven main points related to the impact of Coronavirus on the society and economy.
Through her statement, Sonia Gandhi urged that Indian people follow the health guidelines from the government and keep precautions. She noted that while the pandemic was affecting both lives and livelihoods across the entire nation including sectors with the highest employment rate, it was her unflinching belief that together people will be able to overcome the challenge posed by the spread of Coronavirus. However, she was also critical of the level of government intervention in this area. She has urged the PM and the government to take action on some key issues including testing, lack of information, shortage of PPEs, black marketing and artificial shortage of face masks and sanitizers as well as the impact of Coronavirus on SMEs and agriculture sector.
In her statement, she was also critical of the government’s efforts till now to curb the spread of Coronavirus.
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 underutilised our public and private sector capacities. This must change. We must begin by testing all cases under surveillance and expand to all other symptomatic cases and those coming into contact with the ones testing positiveSonia Gandhi in her Press Statement.
Sonia Gandhi also added that the lack of information on critical things like hospital locations, number of beds, availability of medical supplies and the government should share such information publicly to avoid the spread of panic. The impact of the virus upon the economy is alarming and several sectors are under huge stress due to the spread of Covid-19. Millions of daily wage earners are affected but the condition of regular employees is also poor. Sonia Gandhi urged that the government consider adopting broad-based social protection measures including direct financial help to the affected sections of workers. Several sectors in India and not just tourism and aviation are reeling under pressure due to Coronavirus. Given the current situation, the government must consider special relief measures for various sections of the Indian population and sector-wise relief packages.
In her press statement, Sonia Gandhi also urged the people to keep all precautions necessary to curb the spread of Coronavirus. In her statement, she urged,
“Let’s not forget that precaution and prevention are amongst the most effective remedies. I appeal to all fellow Indians to stay at home unless urgency and exigencies demand otherwise. Special care needs to be taken of the elderly and children to keep them insulated. This decision to remain at home will restrict the transmission of this virus. All of us must spread awareness that frequent hand washing, not touching the face and reporting all flu and influenza-like conditions to medical helpline or a doctor needs to be adhered to”Sonia Gandhi, INC President.
According to sources, the number of Coronavirus cases in India has climbed past 280. Misinformation and hiding the signs of infection can hurt the efforts to curb the spread. The Indian government has launched a chatbot on Whatsapp to curb misinformation and grow people’s awareness about Coronavirus.