Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, in a video message, today called for a nationwide strategy to fight the surge in Covid cases in India after discussion with all political parties. The centre and state governments "should wake up and fulfill their responsibilities," she further asserted.
"It's high time that the centre and state governments wake up and fulfil their responsibilities. Migration of the labourers should be stopped. A minimum of Rs 6,000 should be added to their accounts till the crisis is over," the 74-year-old Congress leader said in the five-minute long video shared on the official Congress Twitter handle.
The Congress chief's video message comes as India reported over 4 lakh Covid cases for the first time ever in a new global record. The third phase of vaccination has also been launched today, which expands coverage to people between 18-44 years even as nearly 20 states have said they're low on stocks.
कोरोना महामारी के इस चुनौतीपूर्ण समय में आपके व आपके परिवार की सुरक्षा और अच्छे स्वास्थ्य की कामना करती हूं। वह लाखों परिवार जिन्होंने अपने परिजनों को खोया है, उनके प्रति दिल से अपनी संवेदना व्यक्त करती हूं।— Congress (@INCIndia) May 1, 2021
- कांग्रेस अध्यक्षा, श्रीमती सोनिया गांधी#COVID19Indiapic.twitter.com/btmCeG8K6B
Free vaccines should be given to all the citizens, she said. "Testing should be increased across the country and medical oxygen and other resources should be arranged on war footing. Free vaccination should be arranged for all the citizens so that people can be saved. Mandatory vaccine license should be given to increase the vaccine coverage. Black-marketing of life-saving medicines should be stopped," Mrs Gandhi added.
Flagging the shortage of crucial resources, which has worsened the battle against the pandemic, she said: "Lakhs of people are getting affected amid the pandemic everyday, lakhs have died so far. These are testing times and we have to support each other. Most states continue to grapple with shortage of medical oxygen, hospital beds and medicines."
A nationwide strategy should be prepared to fight Covid after discussion with all parties, she said. "I bow down to all the doctors and health workers who are serving Covid patients while putting themselves at risk. We have to go beyond the differences. Our country has overcome many huge struggles in the past. Congress will support the centre in this battle."
Last month, Mrs Gandhi had targeted the centre and made scathing remarks over tackling of the second wave. "Despite a year to prepare, we have, regrettably, been caught off guard again," she said.
Ex-Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi's son, who recently tested positive for Covid has been relentlessly attacking the centre ever since the pandemic hit India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been holding several meetings since last week to review the Covid situation. On Sunday, he said the second wave has "shaken the country".