NEW DELHI: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the government's alleged failures have made another devastating national lockdown almost inevitable, and called for providing financial and food support to the most vulnerable.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he suggested that the government should not be concerned about the economic impact of the lockdown as the human cost of the spread of of the virus would have tragic consequences for the people.
"Your government's lack of a clear and coherent Covid and vaccination strategy, as well as its hubris in declaring premature victory as the virus was exponentially spreading, has placed India in a highly dangerous position: today the disease is growing explosively.
"It is currently on the verge of overwhelming all of our systems. GOI's failures have made another devastating national lockdown almost inevitable," he told the prime minister.
India has seen a record number of 4.14 lakh fresh Covid cases and around 4000 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Gandhi said it is critical that our people are prepared for such an eventuality of a lockdown.
He has been demanding that the government provides Rs 6000 in the accounts to each poor family to tide over the crisis.
"To prevent a repeat of the manifold suffering caused by last year's lockdown, the government must act with compassion and provide critical financial and food support to our most vulnerable people," he said, adding that it must be also ready with a transportation strategy for those who will require it.
The former Congress chief said that when the COVID-19 tsunami continues to ravage our country unabated, the people of India must be your foremost priority in such an unprecedented crisis.
"I urge you to do everything in your power to stop the needless suffering that our people are going through," he said.
Gandhi also called for rapidly vaccinating the entire population and dynamically assess the efficacy of all vaccines against all new mutations as they are identified.
He also called for scientifically tracking the virus and its mutations across the country using genome sequencing as well as its disease patterns.
Gandhi also urged the government to be transparent and keep the rest of the world informed about our findings.
"I am aware that you are concerned about the economic impact of a lockdown. Inside and outside India, the human cost of allowing this virus to continue its march unimpeded will result in many more tragic consequences for our people than any purely economic calculations your advisors are suggesting," he said in his letter to PM.