Lockdown is like a pause button, testing only solution to defeat coronavirus: Rahul Gandhi

NEW DELHI: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that a lockdown is not the solution to fight coronavirus and the government should instead go for testing “aggressively and strategically”.

Addressing the media through a video chat, the Gandhi scion said, “In no way does a lockdown defeat the virus. It helps only to stop the virus for a short while. The only way to do this is to increase testing and chasing the virus and going beyond and this is my advice to the government – use testing.”

Instead of conducting tests on the basis of suspected cases, India must adopt a strategy and bring out an architecture under which testing should be expanded exponentially and find out where the country stands, the Congress leader said.

The Congress MP said that though he disagrees with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a lot of issues, it is time to stand united in the nation’s fight against COVID-19.

“I disagree with Narendra Modi with a lot of issues but now is not the time to fight. Unite and fight the virus,’’ Rahul Gandhi said.

Gandhi insisted that there is a need for devolution of powers to states to help them effectively deal with the situation. He added that a “blunt instrument” should not be used and what is needed is a “nuanced” and strategic approach.

”Now we’ve reached a level, where we are in an emergency situation. India must unite and fight against it. My main suggestion is that blunt instruments must not be used. We must work strategically. Lockdown has not resolved the problem, it has only postponed the problem,’’ Rahul added.

He further warned that ”when we come out of the lockdown, the virus is going to start its work again.’’

The Congress leader suggested the government to push testing aggressively and use testing strategically, to assist the states in their fight, use it not to just track patients but to create a map of India to see where the virus is moving.

He also said there is a need to use the available resources carefully. Rahul also said that the government should prepare a minimum financial net. “You don’t have to call it NYAY scheme,” he remarked, suggesting pre-emptive action to provide food security. “Don’t take it as criticism,” he said.