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Rahul Gandhi’s advice to PM: Lockdown won’t defeat virus, biggest weapon is more testing

In a virtual press conference, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi calls Modi govt’s financial package for Covid-19 inadequate, asks it to protect people & businesses.

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New Delhi: Calling the Covid-19 crisis an “emergency”, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has urged the Narendra Modi government to step up testing for Covid-19, come out with a financial package and address the issue of migrants, adding that a lockdown does not defeat the virus; it only stops it for a short while.

“In no way does a lockdown defeat the virus. It stops the virus for some time. But what is the real and biggest weapon against Covid-19 is testing. We require this to know where the virus is moving and isolate it,” Gandhi said while addressing a virtual press conference.

“India’s testing rate is very low, at 199 per million. Currently in India, 350 tests are being carried out per district, which is not enough to tell how the virus is moving. We are currently chasing the virus, but we need to get ahead of it and that is possible only through testing,” the former Congress president said.

Rahul Gandhi said it is imperative for PM Modi to find a strategy to come out of the lockdown, and advised a bottom-up approach, instead of top-down. “The PM’s role should be to empower the states, take them into confidence,” said the MP from Wayanad in Kerala, who also appreciated the state government’s work in battling the virus.

He also cautioned the Modi government against declaring an early victory. “Premature declaration of victory can prove fatal,” he said.


Also read: Coronavirus has increased political distancing between Rahul Gandhi and Congress old guard


Suggestions for people and businesses

Rahul Gandhi slammed the financial package announced by Modi government, saying it was highly inadequate, and isn’t even reaching those who need it.

Calling for a strategic response to deal with the current crisis, Gandhi said food should be provided to all, including those who don’t have ration cards. He suggested that the government should prepare a minimum financial net for the poor.

“You need to provide funds directly in the accounts of the needy. You don’t need to call it Nyay Yojana (Congress’ 2019 Lok Sabha election promise) but at least provide money,” he said.

Predicting a “massive financial backlash” once the lockdown is lifted, Gandhi said unemployment has already started and will only increase in the coming months. “We need to make sure that in protecting lives, we don’t destroy our economy completely,” he said.

He also said micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) should be safeguarded, and a more comprehensive package needs to be announced. He also cautioned the government not to spend all its resources immediately, as the battle against the virus is likely to be a long one.


Also read: It was Rahul’s warning that helped Bhilwara tackle Covid-19, says Sonia at Congress meet


Set differences aside

Gandhi said his suggestions should be taken as constructive advice.

“Lockdown se baat nahin bani hai. Nuanced tareeke se strategically kaam karna hoga. But the Prime Minister has a different style of working and functioning, and we can work around that style,” he said.

Gandhi said he disagrees with PM Modi on several counts, but “today is not the time to fight, we have to fight the virus together”.

“We can’t afford to fight today. We will continue to give our constructive advice to the government, and it is up to them to take it or not,” he said.

Asked if this Covid-19 period could change the structure of Indian democracy, Gandhi said: “That’s a real possibility. We need to first take care of the virus. We know how to make sure India remains democratic,” he said.


Also read: Those who can’t manage a pet without a maid are criticising PM Modi: BJP general secretary


 

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22 COMMENTS

  1. Why does he still get the attention of national media? He is no longer the president of Congress, and Congress is not even the official opposition.
    And by no means, he is expert at anything.

    • because he talks sense? because the PM talks nonsense?
      because Modi loves to hate him, thus elevating him to the status of enemy number 1 and thus the true opposition?
      no, rahul is not an expert on COVID – but he seems to be listening to experts. Fuku is expert only at dividing the nation and does it very well – no need for listing to advice.

  2. It is a pleasure to see how Bhakts are out in numbers to vilify (yet again) the one man that their supreme leader is really afraid of. ’nuff said.

  3. The Congress must be out of its mind if they are projecting this Joker as an alternative to Modi Ji.

    Rahul Ji is most comfortable attending parties in South Delhi. Why not do what he is good at?

  4. Incorrect to say that lockdown doesn’t help. If that was the case governments all over the world would not have opted for lockdown to deal with the pandemic. Those who didn’t like Sweden are now paying the price. As for testing it is most important to test health workers regularly otherwise hospitals and nursing homes may turn into infection centres.

  5. He seems to have a new coach! I wonder if it is Prashanth Kishor cloest coaching him! He has had a makeover to look older or look his age this time 😉 . So he had to ‘come out’ to show- how do I look? He must have also made him watch tons of videos on Covid so some fragments of information could seep in and it worked- he blabbered some nonsense about strategy. But when these abusers start praising Modiji, that is a danger sign and that is also a hall mark of PK training! That is what Kejriwal also did. So that is something to work on for BJP.

  6. Rahul Gandhi is like a batsman who is out on duck {0} or in single digit every time he is on political pitch and yet his chamchas think he is better than SACHIN TENDULKAR OR VIRAT KOHLI s of team of politicos and want him to be skipper of Indian cricket team.

  7. In spite of knowing that this guy has never spoken sense in all the 50 years of his being a burden on India, I listened to him blabbering hoping that he may have one sensible thing to say when the country is facing the biggest challenge in a long time! I am a bloody fool:-( Never again…..

  8. Please don’t be so unkind . Rahul Gandhi educated us on the words” dynamically, dynamic, strategic, strategically, bottoms up, testing , hotspot , non hot spot , human Indian life and nuance. None of us thank this Gandhi for anything. I would like the media to report was this unscripted or did they send the question s ahead to him to prepare. I heard the person ( congress guy)reading the first question swallow part of the question.( Aurangazeb from HT)Then Rahul asked to clarify the question again and the person had to add the part about Modi talking with chef ministers. It’s easy to give advice as though government is doing nothing. Just said lockdown and is sitting in Delhi doing nothing. They are doing things , you hear it in the news.

  9. Leaving China, across globe 1 Crore 70 lakh people have been so far tested for COVID out of which 20 lakh came positive.
    Is it possible to test 130 Crore in India in three or four weeks. That include sourcing of so many Testing Kits, their logistics and performing the tests.

  10. Rahul Gandhi gave a stellar performance. All that he said is true. Bhakts and paid IT-cell are now out in numbers to do damage control – lest we realize what a cheapo Feku looks in comparison to Rahul. MoSha are cruel and incompetent. They would to well to take Rahul’s advice to mitigate some of the damage they have inflicted on India.

    • Madam, this paid IT-cell you refer to in your post, does not exist. It is a figment of the collective imagination of bhakts of the Gandhis – such as yourself.

      Fact is, citizens of India are tired of unqualified people like Rahul Ji, whose only claim to the throne is his family name. And now, the silent majority are expressing themselves.

      The days of being fooled by a fair skinned man blabbering in English are over.

      Because, you know what? We patriots of Bharat can speak better English than these uneducated folk can.

      • This IT cell doesnt exist it seems, haha. Written by a person who calls himself Jack John. Here is your 5 bucks for this comment.

  11. Wow!

    “Advice” from this intellectual giant – the whole country is crying out for this man’s “guidance”.

  12. What is this fool blabbering about now?

    More testing ? What is “more testing”? What is this “strategic testing”? Do he claim to be better informed than ICMR ??

    Another desperate know- nothing politician trying to get his 15 mins of fame in this crisis while actually doing NOTHING than running his mouth!

  13. By saying “Lockdown won’t defeat virus, biggest weapon is more testing” Rahul Gandhi seems to prove again and again that he has got damaged mind. His tiny mind can’t understand that lockdown is the only way today to drastically reduce new infections. Testing is meaningful along with lockdown as testing only identify the infections. Testing is the first step for isolating and treating the infected persons. Only stupids like Ragas can compare India having 130 crore people with tiny countries having few crores of people. Raga thinks that testing is as easy as just saying it. Once he has said that farmers loans would be waved off within 10 days of Congress coming to power in a state. He is more stupid than any Congress worker. He doesn’t even deserve to be in Congress.

  14. Test does not cure anything. It merely helps a disgnosis. Has he said anything original, other than what WHO and others have said earlier. It is the lack of originality which is his undoing.

    • Read the report again first. Don’t take words out of context. He said testing more will help us understand where the virus is concentrated so that we can isolate that particular area better.

  15. More testing is imperative. It would help us plan the staggered exit from the lockdown more scientifically. Many responsible people believe India has reached the stage of community spread a few weeks ago. One way or another, more clarity is needed on this as well.

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