AICC secretary Sudhir Sharma asks about blueprint of Union Govt to tackle covid-19
Says people cannot fight against virus with empty stomach
Dharamshala: All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary Sudhir Sharma said in a press release here today that once the lockdown IV ends (69 days) does the union government has a plan or blueprint ready for the next two or three months on how to tackle covid19 virus.
Sharma who is also a former cabinet minister HP government said, “With over 1,74,000 cases and nearly 4900 deaths in the country as of May 30th 2020, it is inconceivable that the virus is not spreading in the community. The government continuing to insist that there is no community spread is misleading and gives people the false hope that they are protected. How will the public trust the government, when the number of cases starts increasing? It is better to plan for the worst and hope for the best.”
He added that according to many experts both in India and abroad, the infection numbers are rapidly increasing and it’s expected to touch the peak in coming July, which means that on its downturn, the curve is likely to drag on till September, which in simple terms would mean that hospitals in many places and cities will run out of beds to treat COVID, even if we recruit every last hospital bed available to us (to the exclusion of treating all other ailments).
He said, “The union government in these four lockdowns which lasted for more than 69 days could not take any pre-emptive step to combat the onslaught of this deadly virus. Now it is clear that we’re not getting a vaccine till early next year, possibly not even for a year and a half. There is no evidence whatsoever that any medicine or therapeutic intervention can prevent or treat COVID infection. If we are not prepared even now, after ten weeks of a nationwide lockdown, we are never going to be prepared. The government should spell out what it has done in terms of procurement and preparedness during these past 69 days that will help us when the number of cases increases.”
He suggested that MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) should be extended to harvesting and other agricultural activities. “This will be of dual benefit, those who are out of jobs will get work and the farmers who are struggling to find labour for harvesting will get help,” he said. Union government should involve more Chief Ministers of the worst affected states and they should be included in the centre’s Group of Ministers (GOM) that regularly meets to take stock of the covid related issues.
He further said that it is estimated that crores of people have lost their livelihoods in both rural and urban India during this pandemic spread and many are starving. The union government should provide food to them for at least next six months which is easily achievable given our ample stock of food grains.
He asked the centre to allow freedom of movement for work including public transport but ban mass religious, social and cultural gatherings for the next few months. All offices, businesses and markets should be allowed to open. “We know that the virus spreads with or without a lockdown. But we cannot fight the Covid19 virus on an empty stomach.” Said secretary AICC.