Coronavirus lockdown | Set out holistic plan for lockdown exit: Cong. to PM

Opposition party questions low testing rates in India despite capacity

April 26, 2020 05:10 pm | Updated 05:10 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Former Union Minister Manish Tewari

Former Union Minister Manish Tewari

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Monday video-conference with Chief Ministers , the Congress on Sunday said the party hoped that Mr. Modi would put out ‘a comprehensive and holistic plan’ to exit the ongoing lockdown.

The party also questioned the government’s testing strategy to fight the coronavirus [COVID-19] pandemic and asked why the country was testing far below its capacity.

COVID-19 | Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

“Experts agree that mass random testing is the key to beating corona. In India, a bottle neck is stopping us from scaling testing from the current 40,000 per day to 1 lakh tests a day, for which test kits are already in stock. PM needs to act fast and clear the bottleneck,” former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

Addressing an online press conference, Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari also questioned the government’s motive.

“Is there an attempt to either play down the magnitude of the problem or is the government unsure that if we go in for enhancing the testing capacity, then it does not have the capacity to deal with its implications?” Mr. Tewari asked.

“We hope that the Prime Minister puts out a comprehensive, holistic strategy in dealing with the lockout-exit and the situation for the next three months, during his meeting with chief ministers on Monday,” he said.

COVID-19 | State-wise tracker for coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates

Mr. Tewari said till until there is national plan to deal with disasters or pandemics under the relevant laws, State governments cannot formulate plans to deal with post-lockdown issues.

Mr. Tewari stressed that information from experts indicate that ‘the virus is here to stay and India needs to workout a strategy with the virus around’.

The Congress leader also asked the government to prepare a plan to mitigate the pain of the migrants, who are either making arduous journeys back home or are stuck in shelters/camps for the past one month.

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