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‘India will pay heavy price’: Rahul slams Centre on COVID-19

‘India will pay heavy price’: Rahul slams Centre on COVID-19
Rahul Gandhi (File)
NEW DELHI, MAR 18 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 3/18/2020 11:53:57 AM IST

 Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the country will have to pay “a heavy price” for the government’s inability to act decisively on tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

“Quick aggressive action is the answer to tackling the #Coronavirus . India is going to pay an extremely heavy price for our governments inability to act decisively,” he said on Twitter.

Mr Gandhi has been critical of the Narendra Modi-led central government in tackling the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

He himself was screened for coronavirus infection at the Delhi airport on his return from Italy on February 29. The Congress leader who had travelled to the Italian city of Milan for two weeks had been offered courtesies due a Lok Sabha MP and a Z-Plus protectee on his return, but declined them and stood in line with other passengers for nearly half-an-hour, his party said.

Coronavirus has infected nearly 2 lakh people worldwide and over 150 in India, where three people have died.

The government has already taken measures including suspending most visas into the country. On Monday it expanded travel restrictions, banning passengers from countries of the European Union and European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the United Kingdom - including its own citizens.

It has also closed down schools, cinemas, malls, gyms and major tourist sites including the Taj Mahal, while most major cities asked offices providing non-essential services to keep their staff at home in increased measures to curb the COVID-19 pandemic in India.

While the government has maintained it is prepared to minimise the fallout, there have been concerns that the over-stretched health systems in India could struggle to handle a surge in case especially because of its low testing capacity.

Authorities said it was trying to ramp up testing facilities from 500 per day to 8,000 and framing protocols to rope in private players.

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