‘The number of poor people who are dependent on a daily income is simply too large for us to shut down all economic activity’
New Delhi: Terming India’s conditions as “unique” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said the country required to take different steps than other large countries who are following a total lockdown strategy.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi said the world has been forced to take urgent, immediate measures to contain the rapid spread of the Covid-19 and India is currently in the midst of a three-week lockdown.
“I suspect that the government will eventually extend this even further. It is critical for us to understand that India's conditions are unique. We will be required to take different steps than other large countries who are following a total lockdown strategy. The number of poor people in India who are dependent on a daily income is simply too large for us to unilaterally shut down all economic activity,” he said.
Asserting that the consequences of a complete economic shutdown will disastrously amplify the toll taken by the Covid-19 virus, the former Congress president asked the government to consider a nuanced approach that takes the complex realities of Indian people into consideration.
“Our priority must be to protect and isolate the elderly and vulnerable from the virus and to clearly and strongly communicate to the young the dangers of proximity to older people,” he added.
“Large population centres will require big dedicated hospitals with thousands of beds and ventilators. It is critical that we start setting up these structures and manufacturing the equipment that would be required, as fast as is humanly possible. At the same time we need to dramatically increase the number of tests that we are carrying out to get an accurate picture of the spread of the virus and to contain it,” the letter continued.