Amid a massive surge in the COVID-19 cases in the country, Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi after reviewing the pandemic situation. The senior Congress leader has also highlighted certain issues and has suggested some points to take into consideration to curb the spread of virus.
In the letter, she wrote, "I have had a detailed interaction with the Chief Ministers of States ruled by the Congress Party and Ministers from States where the Congress is in alliance Governments, to take stock of the most disturbing Covid-19 situation."
Sonia Gandhi highlighted three issues that could come up for PM's consideration and appropriate action in a spirit of constructive cooperation.
Speaking on vaccinations, she said, "Vaccines are our foremost hope. Sadly, most of the states, are left with a stock of just 3 to 5 days. While it will be recessary on one hand to substantially ramp up our domestic production capacity. It will also be prudent to allow emergency use authorities of all the vaccine candidates that have the required clearances without any further delay." Further she added, "Accordingly, with enhanced availability, categories eligible for vaccination should be expanded on the basis of need and exposure rather than just age In the same vein."
Besides that she wrote, "All equipments, instruments, medicines and support infrastructure required to deal with the Covid-19 crisis should be made completely exempted from GST. Even ventilators, oximeters and oxygen cylinders presently attract GST as do key life saving drug like Remdesivir and Dexamethasone."
Commenting over curfews, lockdowns, she wrote, "As we move ahead to control the situation by resorting to curfews, travel restrictions, closures and lockdowns, we will again be restricting economic activity that will hit the already beleaguered people - especially the poor and the daily wagers very, very hard."
She appealed PM Modi to put into place the much needed scheme of minimum monthly guaranteed income in place and transfer an amount of Rs 6,000/- in every eligible citizen's account. Similarly. with reverse migration of labour already having started, it will be critical to immediately address their needs of safe and seamless transportation, as indeed their suitable rehabilitation in the host as well as home states.
Meanwhile, today Rahul Gandhi too urged the PM for making covid-19 vaccination available for everyone who need it.