Calling the management of the first and the second waves of COVID-19 by the central government as 'disastrous', Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, 22 June released a ‘white paper’ to help the government prepare for the predicted third wave in the country.
Suggesting that the government must be ready for requirements of oxygen, hospital beds, and medicines, Gandhi said that the aim of the white paper is to point the central government in the right direction.
“The purpose of this white paper is not to point fingers at the government but it is to help the government prepare for the third wave that is going to come. It is pretty clear that the management of the first wave and the management of the second wave was disastrous. There were some central reasons as to why it was so. We have tried to point out those reasons in our white paper,” Gandhi said, adding that it is “it is our intention to provide the government with information and insights on what went wrong.”
Gandhi said that the virus might lead to more waves in the future and that we must have the necessary infrastructure ready, adding that the government must 'aggressively vaccinate'.
What Does the White Paper Say?
Gandhi said that the white paper was made by the party after discussions with several experts.
“This white paper is a discussion that has taken place within the Congress. We have had discussions with experts and we have basically developed four pillars. One pillar, of course, is the idea of understanding what exactly went wrong, which is the foundation of the white paper. Our suggestion is to look into some of the shortcomings so that we can look into them and correct them. Second pillar is the preparation for the third wave,” he said.
“Third pillar is the idea of an economic persistence package. COVID is not just a biological phenomenon. It is also an economic and social phenomenon,” Gandhi said.
The fourth and final pillar, he said, is the “COVID compensation fund where we give money to people who have lost their loved ones, where we commit to them the support of the Indian government.”
Commenting on India vaccinating a record 82 lakh people, Gandhi said that good work has happened, but the government has to “make this process work not just on one day, but every day until we have vaccinated our whole population.”
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