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Impossible to keep the needy disciplined if immediate relief

Press Trust of India  |  Bengaluru 

Former Union Minister Salman Khurshid on Thursday asked the government to rush to the help of daily-wagers and other vulnerable sections of the society affected by lockdowns in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and said it would be impossible to keep them "disciplined" if immediate relief is not given.

Containment of the coronavirus is the most important factor and it should go on hand-in-hand with economic support, the senior Congress leader said.

"We are very, very seriously concerned about daily wagers who live in modest homes, people who have very little or no reserves or people who will have no way to fend at all. In a matter of days, in three-four days these are the people who really will be a serious situation. Something needs to be done for them. I am not quite sure that there is adequate response that is taking care of their future," Khurshid told PTI.

"They need food supplies, they need some money. This would be very, very critical. Because if this kind of relief breaks-down, then it will be impossible to keep people disciplined," he cautioned.

Khurshid said the 21-day lock-down, announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is inevitable.

"Whatever we have seen from the experience of the West, I think there is nothing else that could have been done," he added. "So, this is a good strategy."

He suggested a brief curfew relaxation for an hour or so daily, as has been allowed in the West, that also in a very limited way, just to give some "mental relief' for people.

Hospital staff and people providing services ought to be given protective equipment so that they can continue to provide their services. "Thats absolutely important," he said.

"I am not sure that we have enough protective equipment available for medical staff across the country . While that's so, there are other services like garbage cleaning etc., and I am given to understand because of lack of protective equipment there are going to be serious problems," Khurshid added .

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

First Published: Thu, March 26 2020. 13:00 IST