Indian government wasted golden months to stop Covid-19: Ghulam Nabi Azad
New Delhi, Sep 17: During a debate on coronavirus crisis in Rajya Sabha, Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the government wasted golden months to stop Covid-19.
"The Govt wasted the golden months to stop Covid-19. WHO had sounded a warning in Dec 2019. As China is our neighbouring country, we should have been alert first.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had also alerted that an epidemic was looming over us," he said, as quoted by ANI.
Participating in a debate on coronavirus pandemic in the Upper House, the former health minister attacked the government for losing "golden months" to stop the spread of the disease despite a warning from the World Health Organisation (WHO) in December 2019 about the spread of the infectious virus in neighbouring China.
On 24 March 2020, the Government of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a nationwide lockdown for 21 days, limiting movement of the entire 1.3 billion population of India as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 pandemic when the number of confirmed positive coronavirus cases was approximately 500 in India. It was ordered after a 14-hour voluntary public curfew on 22 March.
After extending the lockdown twice, on June 8, services resumed in a phased manner.
India's current COVID-19 case tally crosses 51-lakh mark with a spike of 97,894 new cases and 1,132 deaths in the last 24 hours. The nation is now at 2nd place worldwide in terms of COVID effected numbers after US.
The total case tally stands at 51,18,254 including 10,09,976 active cases, 40,25,080 cured/discharged/migrated and 83,198 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Azad on Thursday also told India should be well placed to get the vaccine at an "affordable price" and at an "early stage" through a mechanism like pooled procurement.
The government should be "over cautious" about the quality, safety and efficacy of a new vaccine as any long term side effects would impact India which has a large and young population, the Congress leader said.