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COVID-19; 'PM Should have addressed nation earlier', says Sibal

ANI  |  General News 

Congress MP and former Union Minister Kapil Sibal on Friday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to call a 'Janta curfew' on Sunday, March 22 from 7 am to 9 pm in an attempt to combat the spread of Coronavirus is a right decision but he should have addressed the nation earlier.

"As far as the Prime Minister's speech was concerned, it was fine as a Prime minister should address the nation. Maybe he could have addressed the nation earlier. What he said in the speech was very little. He asked the people to come out at their balconies on March 22 at 5 pm and clap (for the medical staff), of course, we should clap our hands but also join hands as well," Sibal told ANI.

With regard to the Coronavirus outbreak in the country, he said that information is still awaited as to how many people are affected by it as the testing facilities are not completely on the ground. "Quick and stern action is required. The Prime Minister in his speech did not mention anything about the steps to be taken," he said.

Urging the Prime Minister and the central government to take immediate action on the matter, Sibal said,"Once we have more information available in the coming few weeks, stern action should be taken. I do not know what those stern measures should be," he added.

With businesses being shut due to the coronavirus scare, Congress MP raised concerns over how the livelihood of labourers would be affected. He said, "The labourers--who earn their livelihood on a daily basis--work has come to a halt. There are employees who can't find work and if they are able to find work, they are unable to come to work."

He further added that this would create a massive financial impact. "While the Prime Minister has set up a special task force under the Finance Minister, nobody knows what their game plan is. We don't have a roadmap. With our economic situation at a low and topping it with coronavirus scare, you must estimate at how much loss we would be incurring," he added.

The total number of coronavirus cases in India has now climbed up to 206, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday morning.

As many as 19 people have been cured of the infection. The disease has claimed over 10,000 lives globally.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 20 2020. 17:24 IST
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