Gujarat Exclusive > Politics > Lockdown can “pause” spread of COVID-19, not end it: Rahul Gandhi

Lockdown can “pause” spread of COVID-19, not end it: Rahul Gandhi

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said the government must explore ways of gradually lifting the nationwide lockdown because lockdown can only “pause” the spread of novel coronavirus, not end it.

“Lockdown is not a solution, neither a treatment. Therefore, we must find a strategy to come out from the lockdown phase. PM’s role should be to empower the states,” Gandhi said while addressing a press conference in New Delhi.

Elaborating on this, he said a lockdown cannot defeat the virus, it can only stop it for a while. “The biggest weapon to fight it is testing. Lockdown is like a pause button, it is not a solution. Once we come out, the virus will spread again,” he said, adding that a lockdown allows time to ramp up preparedness.

The Congress leader pointed out that the government needs to urgently increase testing for COVID-19 in the country. “India’s testing rate very low at 199 per million so far. We need to ramp up testing,” he said.

“There should be a strategic opening of the lockdown. The government should push coronavirus testing aggressively and assist states to fight it,” Gandhi said.

Describing the prevailing situation as an “emergency”, he said it is important that the fight against coronavirus is taken to the district level. “To fight COVID-19, our main force should be at state and district level,” he said.

Gandhi also hailed Kerala’s achievement in containing COVID-19 as a success and said it is an example. “The fight should be bottom-up and not top-down. PM’s role should be to empower the states,” he said.

105 fresh COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths in Gujarat during past 12-hours