Rahul Gandhi pitches for aggressive testing to fight COVID-19, asks Centre to empower CMs and district authorities to curb spread

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday called for unity to fight the coronavirus pandemic which has infected over 12,000 people in the country so far.

Asian News International April 16, 2020 16:13:11 IST
Rahul Gandhi pitches for aggressive testing to fight COVID-19, asks Centre to empower CMs and district authorities to curb spread

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday called for unity to fight the coronavirus pandemic which has infected over 12,000 people in the country so far.

"I disagree with (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi on a lot of issues but now is not the time to fight. Unite and fight the virus," said Rahul during the presser through video conferencing held on Thursday.

The Congress leader suggested that fight against the virus should be bottom-up instead of top-down.

"To fight COVID, our main force is at the district and state level. The success in Kerala's Wayanad is because of the effectiveness of district-level machinery. My one suggestion is that the fight against COVID-19 should not be top-down, it should be bottom-up. The prime minister should empower chief ministers and districts. The Prime Minister's role is to empower forces," he said.

He repeatedly stressed that the country should fight the crisis standing united.

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"As far as MPLAD is concerned, it is not a major thing in this situation. The major thing in this situation is that we are fighting together, we are using our assets. We should focus on that. Now, it is an emergency situation. India should fight this as united. My main suggestion is to not use blunt instruments. Work in a nuanced manner, strategically," he said.

"Idea hai ki lockdown ho gaya to baat ban gayee. Nahi, baat postpone hui hai. (The idea is once lockdown happens, it is done. No, it has only been postponed). Resources should be utilised effectively. Give resources to states. Communicate with chief ministers and districts openly. Act on their demands," he said.

The Congress leader also stated that a lockdown is not the solution to the virus and suggested the Centre should aggressively go for testing and use it strategically.

With 941 more COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, India's coronavirus tally crossed the 12,000 mark with the tally reading at 12,380 cases, said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday.

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