Neither PM Modi nor Centre understood Covid-19 pandemic: Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday sharpened his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the central government over the second wave of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in India by saying that neither Modi nor the government has been able to understand the viral disease, which has claimed over 300,000 lives so far.
Rahul Gandhi has been the most vocal critic of the Centre’s response towards the coronavirus pandemic and has censured it on several fronts--vaccination, under-reporting of deaths, oxygen supplies and the construction of the Central Vista Project.
Addressing a virtual press conference on Friday, Gandhi said, “I, along with several other people warned the Centre over the Covid-19 pandemic multiple times. The Centre made fun of us. The Prime Minister declared victory against Covid-19. The problem here is neither the Prime Minister nor the Centre has understood the viral disease till now.”
Gandhi said that Covid-19 is not just a disease but is an evolving one that will become fatal if more time and space is given to it. Pointing out that the viral disease attacks the country’s poor population, those with co-morbidities, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, the Congress leader offered ways to combat it.
“There are three to four ways to stop Covid-19. Of these, the permanent solution is vaccination. Lockdown is a weapon but people suffer and hence it is a temporary solution. Social distancing and wearing of masks are also temporary solutions against Covid-19,” he added.
Gandhi once again targeted the Centre over its vaccine strategy and the decision to export doses to other countries by saying that only 3% of India’s population is vaccinated and the remaining 97% is still prone to Covid-19. He said if the vaccination rate continues at the present pace, the entire population will be only inoculated by 2024.
He also alleged that PM Modi’s nautanki (drama) is the reason behind the raging second wave of the pandemic in India due to which lakhs of people died. “The Centre is lying about the death rate due to the virus. This is not the time to lie. We have to understand the reality and the Centre has to show the reality if we want to combat Covid-19. This is about the country’s future and not a political matter. They (Centre) should understand that we (opposition) are not their enemies,” the Congress leader said during the briefing.
After 3,660 people succumbed to Covid-19 on Friday, India’s death toll rose to 318,895 and the fatality rate stood 1.16%. In mid-April and early May, the daily deaths in the country went over 4000, the highest anywhere in the world. Meanwhile, 186,364 new Covid-19 cases were reported on Friday, the lowest in 44 days, taking the caseload to 27,555,457, according to the Union ministry of health and family welfare.