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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Aim of Covid white paper to help India tackle third wave: Rahul Gandhi

"The aim of the white paper is to show the road ahead. We have discussed it with experts and developed four pillars," Rahul Gandhi said

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 22, 2021 5:04:18 pm
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during Tuesday's presser (Screengrab)

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday released a white paper by the party on the Centre’s Covid management and said the intention was not to “point fingers but help India tackle the third wave.”

Releasing the white paper, the former Congress chief said it is clear that the management of the first and second wave of COVID-19 was “disastrous”. “There were certain reasons as to why it was disastrous, we’ve tried to point out those reasons in our white paper. This is a blueprint about how to react to the third wave which is going to come,” he said.

“The aim of this white paper on COVID19 is not finger-pointing at the government but to help the nation prepare for the third wave of infection. The whole country knows that a third wave will strike,” Gandhi said in a virtual presser.

Meanwhile, responding to the white paper, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused Rahul Gandhi of playing politics over the coronavirus crisis, news agency PTI reported.

Stating that the government should be open-minded, Gandhi said that vaccination is key to fight the pandemic. “Central pillar is vaccination. It is very important that we have an aggressive vaccination strategy. The government must be prepared… have hospitals, oxygen, meds ready. If you think the second wave is bad, the third one will be worse.”

“It is our intention to provide the government with information and insights into what went wrong,” Gandhi said. The aim of this white paper is not finger-pointing at the government but to help the nation prepare for the third wave of infection, he said.

Referring to the record 82.7 lakh vaccinations on Monday, Gandhi said, “Yes, good work has happened yesterday (highest number of vaccines administered) but this is not a series of events. But govt has to make this process work not just for one day but every day until we’ve vaccinated our whole population.” Gandhi also urged the government to treat all states equally for COVID-19 vaccinations, asserting that there should be no bias and they should not be viewed as BJP or opposition states.

‘Rahul Gandhi playing politics’: BJP responds

After the release of the white paper, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra stated, “Whenever something good happens in our fight against coronavirus, the Congress and Rahul Gandhi specially do something to derail it.”

“Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party have tried to derail the efforts by playing politics. In fact, the Congress has really worked tirelessly to create hurdles and obstacles in our path,” he said. He added that India had just yesterday become the “first country in the world to administer 87 lakh vaccine doses in one day.”

Patra went on to allege that the second wave had started in Congress-ruled states, which also see the maximum number of Covid cases and deaths, as well as, vaccine hesitancy.

“Go to states ruled by your party and see the situation there. How vaccines are being wasted in Rajasthan, how vaccine profiteering is happening in Punjab and how Chhattisgarh is misusing vaccines. Go to the ground and survey,” he said.

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