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Sitaram Yechury asks government to say how lockdown helped in improving public health

CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury. File

CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury. File   | Photo Credit: V. V. KRISHNAN

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has demanded that the Union government publish a “white paper” on how the lockdown was used to strengthen public health.

The Congress has asserted that the extended lockdown has failed and its former president Rahul Gandhi claimed that all the four stages of the lockdown had failed and India was the only country that was opening up when the coronovirus (COVID-19) infection was rising exponentially. Lockdown 4.0 is scheduled to end on May 31.

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Mr. Yechury tweeted, “Modi gave an unplanned unilateral last-minute firman for Lockdown: has no idea on how to end it scientifically now. The cost is being borne by millions of Indians. BJP govt compounded the misery of a public health emergency”.

Mr. Yechury told The Hindu that lockdowns were resorted to by countries when they saw the pandemic rising and during that period they tried to flatten the curve. So, by the end of a lockdown, the number of cases must have shown a decline. “Here, on the contrary, when the restrictions are being eased, every single day the number of positive cases are spiralling. On March 24, when the lockdown was announced, India had 564 cases and 10 deaths. As on today, there are 4,547 deaths, after more than 60 days of lockdown,” he said.

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Two months was an adequate period for the government to augment its health facilities, including increasing the number of beds and testing capacity, procuring ventilators and so on. “Nothing of this sort was done. In fact, private hospitals are charging more than they were charging earlier, making it impossible for a common man to afford treatment,” he pointed out.

India was still at the bottom of the tally on COVID-19 tests being done to track and trace the infected population, he noted.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 9:54:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sitaram-yechury-asks-government-to-say-how-lockdown-helped-in-improving-public-health/article31696938.ece

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