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Coronavirus: Rahul Gandhi appeals for strict social isolation, says next 3-4 weeks crucial

FE Online
Rahul Gandhi coronavirus

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has written an open letter, appealing to the public to adopt strict social isolation to flatten the curve of the coronavirus spread. Rahul cited examples of Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan that enforced social isolation to contain the outbreak and reduce fatalities.

"I strongly appeal to each of you to follow strict social isolation and distancing measures. Containing the virus requires us to minimise our contact with people as much as possible," Rahul’s letter reads.

He also advised the public to restrict their visit to shops and other public places to break the chain of the deadly virus.

"Remember that social isolation is not a holiday and any non-essential travel or social gathering during this time will only heighten the risk of contracting coronavirus," he said.

Rahul said global public health experts have warned that a large number of cases remain undetected in India and could "spread in the absence of containment measures". The fight against the epidemic, he said, involves making urgent lifestyle changes and noted that the next 3-4 weeks are crucial for India.

He also commended the doctors and health workers who are relentlessly providing essential services. "The public health personnel have displayed exemplary courage, even at great personal risk to themselves," the Wayanad MP said.

The former Congress president further said the Covid-19 pandemic is a test of "our ability to work together" and collective fight against the crisis. "This is the time for national solidarity and unity. I strongly appeal to all of you again to heed all the public safety advisories being issued and remain vigilant," he said.

Rahul’s two-page letter comes hours after he in a tweet said the Modi government didn’t realise the magnitude of the crisis and time lapsed. He said had the Covid-19 threat been taken more seriously, the situation would have been different.

"I am feeling sad, because this was completely avoidable. We had time to prepare. We should have taken this threat much more seriously and have been much better prepared," he tweeted.

According to the Ministry of Health, the country has reported nearly 500 cases of coronavirus in the country. This includes 10 deaths. The Centre and states are running against time to contain the spread of virus, imposing a complete lockdown in 32 states and UTs, covering 560 districts.