Political Buzz

Centre should inform about steps taken to increase coronavirus testing: Congress

ANI | April 03, 2020 04:48 PM
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera

New Delhi [India], April 3 (ANI): The Congress said on Friday that less than 50,000 people have been tested for coronavirus in the country and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should tell about the steps being taken to increase testing.

In a statement, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera alleged that prices of vegetables and essential commodities have seen "unprecedented rise" since the enforcement of lockdown due to "complete collapse of the interstate and intra-state supply chain."

He said the party had expected some announcements from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his video message on Friday morning.

Khera said the country expected that there will be an announcement that personal protective equipment has been made available for lakhs of doctors and medical staff working amidst great threat to their own lives.

"Today the country expected you to declare that Rs 7,500 will be deposited in the Jan Dhan accounts, in the PM Kisan scheme accounts and the pension accounts. The jobs cardholders of MGNREGA were expecting you to announce an advance payment of three months in their accounts. State governments were hoping that you were to announce the payment of GST dues," said Khera.

He said that testing is the first critical step towards containing coronavirus.

"In a country with a population of 130 crore, we have tested less 50,000 people. As the Prime Minister it becomes your duty to inform the country of the steps being taken to increase the number of tests," he said.

Khera alleged that fresh vegetables were rotting in the fields or in the mandis. He said 60 per cent trucks were off the road either due to "sealing of borders" or due to the financial difficulties faced by the drivers.

"The transport cost has gone up by four times. Of 12 million kirana stores of the country, only 2.5 million are open. The rest are shut because of the disruption of supplies of essential commodities. The Centre's intervention is a must," he said.

Khera said there were reports of hoarding and black marketing and there was a shortage of come commodities including face masks, hand sanitisers and liquid soaps.

He said it is the responsibility of the government to provide personal protective equipment to doctors and medical staff and "fix responsibility for the delay in doing so.".

A nationwide lockdown for 21 days was announced on March 24 to prevent the spread of coronavirus. (ANI)

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