The Congress on Wednesday accused the government of "diluting" the testing guidelines and said its revised rules, which allow a patient to be discharged without undergoing final tests for coronavirus, will prove disastrous for the country.
Congress spokesperson Sushmita Dev, demanding a reversal of the new discharge policy, said the new guidelines could put India in the same situation as the United States and Europe, which have seen a spurt in COVID-19 cases.
According to Union Health Ministry's revised discharge guidelines for people infected with coronavirus, very mild, mild and pre-symptomatic cases can be discharged after 10 days of symptom onset and no fever for three days. No test is required before discharge from COVID-19 care centres, it said.
Ms Dev alleged that the government is trying to hide its own failures of not being well-prepared to fight the pandemic by not testing coronavirus patients at the time of discharge from hospitals.
"What is the justification that COVID-19 patients with mild or moderate symptoms will not be tested at the time of discharge from hospitals or care centres. This one single policy of discharge without testing will be disastrous for the country. This must be reversed immediately as people cannot be allowed to suffer as the government of India did not adequately prepare itself," she told reporters at a press conference through video conference.
Earlier, all COVID-19 patients had to test negative twice before being discharged from hospitals.
The Congress also alleged favouritism and "pick and choose policy" by the central government in granting licences for manufacturing ELISA and PPE kits.
"There should be transparency in the process of allowing PPEs manufacture. Is the government picking and choosing people in doing so?" she asked.
Sushmita Dev feared India could join US and Europe and see a spurt in coronavirus cases within the next two weeks if the government did not change the new testing guidelines.
"The government is trying to hide its own shortcomings of having less testing kits and do not want the country to know how many people have tested positive for coronavirus, she said.
She also alleged that the government's "Make in India" policy had failed even before the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
"Everytime the BJP government talks of "Swadeshi", it wants to hide its own failures," she said.