Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi
Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi
PTI File Photo

New Delhi

With India facing a Covid surge, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday urged the Centre to evolve a national policy to deal with the pandemic after bringing about a political consensus on it. In a video message, she said it is time for the central and state governments to wake up and fulfil their duties. Gandhi said Covid-19 jabs should be provided for free to all citizens and sou­ght compulsory licensing to ramp up vaccine production to speed up the country’s inoculation drive to help save Indians.

“I urge the central government to evolve a national policy to deal with the Covid crisis in the country and a strategy to bring about a political consensus over it,” the Congress President said.

She added the Centre should “first think about the poor and provide them with Rs6,000 each to the bank accounts of all to stop their migration, till the end of the pandemic.” Gandhi called for increasing testing and checking the black marketing of essential life-saving drugs besides providing oxygen, medicines and other equipment to hospitals on a war-footing. The discrimination over vaccine pricing should end and black marketing of life-saving drugs be stopped and all industrial oxygen be provided to hospitals for medical purposes, she said.

The Congress chief said her party will stand by the Centre in its fight against the pandemic and appealed to all Indians to unite in these testing times.

She prayed for the good health of all Indians during these challenging times of the pandemic and offered her heartfelt condolences to the lakhs of families who have lost their loved ones. “Our country is facing the pandemic and lakhs of our citizens have been affected by coronavirus everyday. This crisis is the testing time for all of us and we have to hold each other's hands, support each other and be their strength. The current times have shattered humanity, with many states facing shortage of beds, oxygen and life-saving medicines,” she said.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi
File Photo

Queues for all — O2, beds, cremations: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said the entire world is shaken by the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic in India and there are queues everywhere, whether for oxygen cyllinders, for life-saving medic­i­nes, for hospital beds and even outside crematoriums. He accused the government of misreading and mishandling the situation and alleged that all early warning signs were ignored, including from scientists.

“It breaks my heart every single day to wake up to the absolute devastation around us. This is not a wave; it is a tsunami that has destroyed everything in its wake. There are never-ending queues everywhere. There are queues to get an oxygen cylinder, queues to refill the cylinder, queues to get life-saving medicines, queues to get a hospital bed, and now there are queues outside crematori­ums,” said Rahul Gandhi.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal