New Delhi: Slamming the Centre over its COVID-19 handling, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that 90 per cent of people who have died due to coronavirus could have been saved and added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's tears did not save the lives of people but oxygen could have.
"90 per cent of people who have died could have been saved. The biggest reason for this was the lack of oxygen at the time. While there is no shortage of oxygen in the country. PM's tears did not save the lives of people but oxygen could have," he said. The demand for medical oxygen increased significantly after a record surge in coronavirus cases during the second wave.
The attack on the Centre came while the former Congress chief was releasing a white paper on the Government of India's management of COVID-19. He said that the aim of this white paper is not finger-pointing at the government but to help the nation prepare for the third wave of the pandemic.
The Wayanad MP said that management of the first and second wave of COVID-19 was "disastrous".
"The aim of this white paper on COVID-19 is not finger-pointing at the government but to help the nation prepare for the third wave of infection. The whole country knows that a third wave will strike," said the former Congress chief said.
"It is clear that management of the first and second wave of COVID was disastrous, and we have tried to point out the reasons behind it. I would even go so far as to say that there might be waves even after the third wave of COVID-19 as the virus is mutating," he added.
This comes a day after Gandhi termed the Centre's decision of not paying an ex gratia to kin of those who died of Covid-19 as "cruelty" and said that the compensation is just a small help for the people and the Modi government is unwilling to do that.
However, he appreciated the Central government over a record number of vaccinations on Monday.
"Yes, good work has happened yesterday (highest number of vaccines administered) but this is not a series of events. But the government has to make this process work not just for one day but every day until we've vaccinated our whole population," Gandhi said.
On Monday, India administered 86,16,373 COVID-19 vaccine doses, the highest-ever single day vaccination in the world so far, the Union Health Ministry informed today. Thus India has vaccinated more than the population of New Zealand in a single day.