Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday described the ongoing nationwide lockdown as "one-size-fit-all", and said the centre's move to arrest the growth in the coronavirus cases brought "untold misery and suffering" to millions.
"The one-size-fit-all lockdown has brought untold misery and suffering to millions of farmers, migrant labourers, daily wagers and business owners. It needs a "smart" upgrade, using mass testing to isolate virus hotspots and allowing businesses in other areas to gradually reopen," he tweeted.
The one-size-fit-all lockdown has brought untold misery & suffering to millions of farmers, migrant labourers, daily wagers & business owners.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 13, 2020
It needs a “smart” upgrade, using mass testing to isolate virus hotspots & allowing businesses in other areas to gradually reopen.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the three-week lockdown last month, bringing the economy to a grinding halt. Businesses have been shut, borders of districts sealed, and all modes of public transport banned.
The worst hit are migrant workers who are stranded in metropolitan cities without jobs and no means of sustenance. Thousands of them last month took to the roads on foot as they scrambled to reach their native towns and cities, posing a massive public health danger. The centre had then ordered the states to seal its borders and confine those who had already left in quarantine facilities. It had also said that they must be provided with food and shelter.
Experts have said the lockdown has put a massive burden on the economy already reeling under flagging GDP growth.
The world bank has predicted that India will see growth of just 1.5-2.8 percent in its current financial year, down from an expected 4.8-5.0 percent for the year just ended.
Several states have announced that they will extend by two weeks the lockdown which was scheduled to end on April 14. This was after 13 chief ministers had a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week where they urged him to extend the lockdown.
The Prime Minister is widely expected to announce a roadmap for an extended lockdown on Tuesday.