A Year Later, Still No Strategy to Handle COVID: Sonia, Rahul

Congress President Sonia Gandhi urged the government to ramp up its strategy to tackle COVID-19.

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COVID-19
3 min read
Congress president Sonia Gandhi urged the government to ramp up its strategy to tackle the second wave of the pandemic that India is facing now.
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With the alarming surge in coronavirus cases in the country, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday, 17 April, urged the government to ramp up its strategy to tackle the second wave of the pandemic that India is facing now.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, too, slammed the Modi government, saying it has no strategy to tackle the present crisis.

Speaking during a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, she pointed out that the rise in cases could overwhelm the medical infrastructure.

India’s COVID-19 tally now stands at nearly 14.5 million, second only to the United States.

‘Thundering Silence on Government’s Part’

Sonia Gandhi had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi after her meeting with chief ministers of Congress-ruled states pointing out that the government needs to address the shortage of vaccines and drugs to treat COVID-19 on priority.

She took a jibe at the PM saying “instead of listening to the constructive suggestions of the Opposition,” ministers have turned it into a "me versus you" debate.

“Some of them were left with only a few days of vaccine, no oxygen or ventilators. But there has been thundering silence on the part of the government. On the contrary, some other states have received preferential treatment/relief.”
Sonia Gandhi, Congress President

With partial curfew and restrictions, she suggested that the government must provide financial support for the poor.

Gandhi pointed out that with coronavirus cases prevalent among young people, the immunisation age has to be reduced to 25 years as even younger persons are at a risk of health disorders like asthma, diabetes, kidney and liver diseases.

In order to ensure adequate supply, she said Goods and Services Tax (GST) on all equipment, instruments, medicines and support required to prevent and treat COVID-19 should be made free.

“It is a matter of grave concern that life saving drugs like Remdesivir, etc, and medical oxygen as also other basic supplements are subjected to GST @ 12 percent. Even basic equipment like oxymetres and life-saving critical equipment like ventilators are subjected to 20 percent GST. In the current state of affairs, this is inhuman and untenable.”
Sonia Gandhi, Congress President

‘One Year Later, People Continue to Suffer’

Rahul Gandhi shared a snippet from a year-old video alongside a report on the current situation, stating that not much has changed in terms of the infrastructure and testing strategy to deal with the virus.

"One year later, our people continue to suffer, our infrastructure continues to crumble, and our PM continues to turn away from his responsibilities," he wrote on Instagram.

“This government has no strategy against COVID. It has no proper vaccination strategy and no oxygen strategy,” Gandhi said during the meeting.

This is the first time the CWC has called a meeting exclusively to discuss the situation arising out of the pandemic.

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