Rahul Gandhi hits out at Centre over ‘lack of protective gear’

age correspondent

India, Politics

Congress asks government when equipment will be available

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has been critical of the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis since early February. (PTI)

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday lashed out at the Centre for being unable to supply adequate protective gear to the healthcare professionals fighting the coronavirus outbreak in India.

“I am feeling sad, because this was completely avoidable. We had time to prepare. We should have taken this threat much more seriously…,” he tweeted.

The Congress questioned the Central government for delaying the specifications required of equipment used by doctors and healthcare professionals engaged in fighting the viral epidemic.

In a video statement, Congress communications chief Randeep Singh Surjewala criticised the Centre for “not defining the specifications for personal protection equipment for doctors and health workers”.

“Dear PM, the government is criminally culpable of not defining 'Specifications' of Personal Protection Equipment for Doctors-Health Workers between 1st Feb-2nd March, 2020; Permitting export of PPE material, Masks, Ventilators up to 19th March. Nation needs to know,” he said on Twitter.

The party asked by when the equipment would be available. “What should the doctors, nurses and health professionals do in the interregnum?” the Congress said.

The Congress has been critical of the government’s handling of the situation. Gandhi had in a tweet on February 12 warned the Central government about the Covid-19 virus and urged it to take preventive measures. The party has also demanded that the government come out with a financial package to help people who have lost their livelihoods due to the coronavirus lockdown.