Coronavirus: Gautam Gambhir bats for extension of lockdown period

New Delhi, April 10 () BJP MP from East Delhi Gautam Gambhir has batted for extension of the 21-day lockdown period to contain the spread of coronavirus, saying the country can not afford the risk of resurgence of the pandemic.

Noting that chief minister's of some states have said that lockdown needs to be extended and the prime minister has to take a decision on it, he said extension is not a bad idea considering that a large number of people will come out after the lockdown ends and will be exposed to the virus that is still beyond control.

A nationwide lockdown for three weeks was declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for checking the spread of coronavirus. The lockdown started on March 25 and will end on April 14.

"We are in the middle of a fight. Lockdown was imposed despite hardships to people and now lifting it in one go may nullify all the sacrifices of the people and hard work by various agencies to enforce it, if the virus spreads further," Gambhir told .Advertisement

Its time to rise above politics to work together and stop the spread of the virus, said the cricketer-turned-politician who donated Rs one crore to Delhi government for procuring medical equipments to fight the pandemic.

"Its not the time of finding faults, but I think Delhi government should focus on helping people rather than issuing figures of how many have been provided ration and food.

"Lakhs of migrant workers have left Delhi but Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal keeps on saying 71 lakh have been provided ration and lakhs are getting food from government centres. The migrant workers would not leave Delhi if they believed that government cared for them," he said.

Gambhir had procured 1000 personal protective equipment (PPEs) after Kejriwal, while reacting to the MP's offer of Rs one crore, had said availability of the PPEs not money was the problem.

If Delhi government asks, more kits and equipments will be provided to the hospitals, he said."The PPEs have been delivered to LNJP hospital to be used by doctors and other medical staff. There are vendors who are ready to provide thousands of PPEs so I do not believe availability is any issue as claimed by Delhi government," he said.Advertisement

There is no time to talk now and the challenge ahead is grave, Gambhir said, adding that this is an opportunity for people with resources to help others.

"I am doing whatever I can do by arranging ration, food and other necessary items for the poor and needy people who are most affected by the pandemic and the lockdown," he said.

Gautam Gambhir Foumdation in collaboration with other organisations and corporates like ONGC, Daikin, Le Meridien and DS Group is reaching out to thousands of people in need of food and other essential items, he said.Advertisement

The Lok Sabha MP said Delhi government should ensure quality of food being distributed by it and also pay attention to hygiene of its shelters for people staying there.

He also said the government should strictly enforce the lockdown, with special attention on containment zones in the city.

The national capital has reported 720 coronavirus cases, including 12 deaths, so far. Complete ban on movement of people has been enforced by Delhi government in 22 places where coronavirus cases have been reported in the city. VIT TDSTDS

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