Releasing Congress party's white paper on COVID-19 pandemic, Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday asked the Centre to form a COVID compensation fund to compensate those families who have lost their bread winners due to coronavirus.
The intention behind releasing the white paper is not to point fingers, but to highlight the mistakes committed by the Centre and be better prepared for upcoming waves of the pandemic, Gandhi said, adding that the management of first and second wave was disastrous.
Blaming the government for the second wave of COVID-19, the Congress leader said despite warnings from doctors and experts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn't take the necessary steps to prevent the spike in cases.
Saying that there would surely be a third wave, as the virus is constantly mutating, Gandhi urged the government to make sure that there is no scarcity of hospital beds, medicines, oxygen and other supplies.
Responding to a question, he said the government is trying to hide the number of deaths due to COVID-19, and the actual number of deaths due to coronavirus would be about 5-6 times higher than government's number.
He said about 90 per cent of deaths in the second COVID-19 wave were 'needless'. While Prime Minister's tears could not save them, timely oxygen support could have helped save their lives, Gandhi said.
He said the government should start preparation for the third wave, and also sought economic assistance package for the poor, and small and medium enterprises.
Expressing happiness on India administering over 80 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses on Monday, Gandhi said vaccination is the central pillar to fight the pandemic. He said the high vaccination numbers should not be a one-off thing and the government should keep working to vaccinate 100 per cent population of the country.
Responding to a question, he asked the government to not differentiate between BJP-ruled and opposition-ruled states for vaccination, and said vaccination should be taken up on war footing as a mission.
Copyright©2021 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today