New Delhi: The government has "completely failed" in tackling coronavirus, the Congress said on Thursday and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being "negligent" towards the health of the people.
The steps taken by the government in dealing with coronavirus were "inadequate", Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged.
"The government has completely failed in tackling coronavirus, in preventing it, in identifying people (affected by the virus), in quarantining them, and in taking important steps," he said.
"This government runs on knee-jerk reactions, whether it comes to taking economic steps to revive or stabilising the economy and to prevent economic corona from affecting the investors' lifetime savings, or preventing coronavirus from spreading in this country," the Congress leader told reporters outside Parliament.
According to the Union Health Ministry, the number of coronavirus patients in the country has risen to 73 with 13 fresh cases, including nine from Maharahtra and one each from Delhi, Ladakh and Uttar Pradesh as well as one foreign national.
Surjewala claimed the truth was that "knee-jerk reactions and unthoughtful decisions" are the the only two things governing the country.
"I dont think a pandemic like coronavirus can be dealt with in this casual fashion. It is really sad the Union health minister is himself a doctor. The prime minister is also a doctor of entire political science," he said.
"At least both of them should have known that such reactions will not prevent coronavirus. Prevention is the key for stopping the spread of coronavirus," he said and asked whether adequate steps being taken for prevention of coronavirus.
Hand sanitisers are being black marketed in Delhi at Rs 500, the Congress leader claimed.
"There are no masks available in the national capital of Delhi. What will happen to the rest of India? I think the prime minister should re-calibrate his strategy. We will, as a responsible opposition, support every step taken to prevent the coronavirus from spreading," Surjewala said.
"The prime minister is being casual, actually negligent towards the health of the people of India," he charged.
Asking how people were allowed to enter the country only by checking their temperature, Surjewala said does the health minister even know that if a person is infected with coronavisrus then according to WHO he/she does not show any symptoms of the virus for six days.
"All they were doing was to make you (people) fill a form at the airport that you don't have coronavirus and checking your temperature. Is that the way to deal with a pandemic of this nature?" the Congress leader posed.