Coronavirus outbreak: ‘Total lockdown,’ Chidambaram suggests PM Modi on ways to contain COVID-19 virus

FE Online

Coronavirus Outbreak: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram believes that the time has come where the government should announce total lockdown in some cities in the wake of increasing Coronavirus cases, the Indian Express reported. Expressing his concerns about the speed that the virus is spreading, Chidambaram expressed that the central government is taking satisfactory steps but now there is a need for more harsh steps. When asked why there is a need to take such measures, Chidambaram told The Indian Express the following.

Why harsh steps

As the numbers have crossed 100, the novel Coronavirus can be spread via community transmission. Even in Spain and Italy, the numbers went up drastically in the third week. This should not repeat in India. Therefore, Chidambaram wants partial as well as full lockdown in some areas.

What should PM do

Chidambaram, according to the report, expects Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the matter with all chief ministers via video conference. With this, the central government can get feedback on ground level situations from states, he said. Currently, state and the central is only talking over phone or email which is a formal conversation. Video conferencing can help better in such cases, he asserted. While Modi has asked for the same in case of SAARC nations, he should do it within the country, said Chidambaram.

On current economic scenario

Congress leader feels that slowdown in the economy was caused as there was no internal-decision making. With not enough stimulus in the domestic market, the government can be blamed, but for external factors slowing the economy down, the government cannot be blamed, he said. With Coronavirus, the government cannot do much except take some preventive measures and try to contain it as much as it can. On the liquidity front, the government should allocate the amount required to fight against this outbreak and scrap other projects that are not of importance, he added.