To Query On Salman Khan's COVID-19 Message, Rahul Gandhi's Response

Coronavirus: Rahul Gandhi pitched for large scale testing, saying it "cannot harm anybody"

To Query On Salman Khan's COVID-19 Message, Rahul Gandhi's Response

Rahul Gandhi said only widespread testing can show which way coronavirus is going in India.

New Delhi:

Congress's Rahul Gandhi today said it was important to forget about "religion, caste and age divide" and stand united to defeat the coronavirus. "Whenever Indians start fighting among ourselves, the weakness will begin. We have to take everyone forward together," he said when asked about health workers being targeted at Moradabad, in Uttar Pradesh.

Pointing out that actor Salman Khan had spoken out against the  incident a reporter had asked Mr Gandhi what his message would be. 

"Testing cannot harm anybody. Testing gives you information about the disease and testing should be done on a large scale. The most important thing is -- if we have to fight this disease, then we need to be united," the Congress leader said in his video press conference this afternoon.

In a stern social media post after Tuesday's Moradabad attack, Salman Khan said those who wish to "kill their families" should definitely step out. 

"India ki aabadi ko kum karna chahte ho? (You want to reduce the population of India?) Starting with your own family?" he said in the clip and added: "Agar aap aese bahar nahi nikal rahe hote apne dost aur yaaron ke saath, toh policewaale aapke putto pe danda nahi maar rahe hote (If you weren't going out with friends, police wouldn't have hit with canes). Aapko kya lag raha h, police waalon ko maza araha hai? (Do you think the police is enjoying it?)," he said. 

Rahul Gandhi today said only widespread testing can show which way the virus is going in India.

"In Europe, it is a disease that affects old people particularly but that may not be so in India. I feel in India it could be a disease of the young and middle-aged people also. So we have to think strategically how to keep them isolated when the lockdown ends," he said. 

Explaining the issue, he said while seniors are vulnerable everywhere , there is another category of people in India who are also at risk.

"India also has something unique, which Western nations, Europe and America do not have. In India we have diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, chronic lung infection because of pollution. These diseases do not affect only seniors, only but also middle-aged and young people," he said.

Those who have these diseases should be given protection, he said, "It is important to inform them that they are at risk".

The current system of testing individuals who show symptoms is only following the virus, he said. Only data from random testing can show the big picture.