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Did PM Narendra Modi follow Covid-19 protocols during Gujarat polls? Opposition SLAMS Centre’s advisory over Bharat Jodo Yatra | India News

NEW DELHI: Top opposition parties, including Congress and Trinamool Congress, have strongly reacted to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya’s letter asking Rahul Gandhi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to follow the Covid-19 guidelines strictly during the party`s Bharat Jodo Yatra or suspend the march in the ”best interest of the nation.” Coming down heavily on the BJP government at the Centre, senior Congress leader and MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday said that the ruling party is afraid of the growing popularity of Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra, which has been receiving enormous public support. He also accused the centre of diverting attention from issues of paramount concern to Bharat Jodo Yatra for hiding its failures. 

“I want to ask BJP did PM Narendra Modi follow Covid-19 protocols during the Gujarat Assembly Elections 2022. I think Mansukh Mandaviya is not liking Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra but people are liking it and joining it. Mandaviya has been deputed to divert the public’s attention,” Chowdhury said.



Another Congress MP, Karti Chidambaram, also made similar remarks on the Centre’s advisory to Rahul Gandhi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for suspending the Bharat Jodo Yatra amid fresh health concerns. “I haven’t seen the letter but what are the COVID-19 protocols today? We don’t seem to be having any enforceable COVID protocols in any other public gatherings. Why this sudden attention to Bharat Jodo Yatra if not that it is rankling the BJP?” Karti Chidambaram said.



Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress also came down heavily on the Centre over its suggestion to suspend the Yatra. “They could’ve issued an advisory. We’re at Parliament but no circular came for wearing masks or taking preventive measures. It is not the sole duty of the Centre to boss over state governments. Their responsibility is towards the public in which they have failed. We don’t expect much from them,” TMC MP Dola Sen said.



The reaction from the opposition leaders came after the Centre asked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to suspend the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra if Covid-19 guidelines are not being followed properly. In a letter addressed to Rahul Gandhi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, “if following Covid-19 protocol is not possible then the Bharat Jodo Yatra be postponed in the national interest, taking note of public health emergency.”



The letter written by the Union Health Minister also called for strict adherence to the COVID guidelines during the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra and the use of masks and sanitisers. In his letter, Mandaviya also suggested that only vaccinated people should be allowed to participate in the Congress party’s ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra. Mandaviya also requested the Congress leaders to postpone the foot march if the following protocol is not possible. Notably, the Yatra observed its last day in Rajasthan on Tuesday and entered Haryana today.

Centre To Review Covid-19 Situation In India Today

The letter comes amid fresh health concerns triggered by the new wave of Covid in China. A similar upward trend in Covid cases has been noticed in Japan, South Korea, Brazil and the US which prompted the Centre to urge all states and UTs to gear up the whole genome sequencing of the positive cases.

The Centre will today review the Covid-19 situation in India as the new wave of the virus continues to sweep China. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will chair the key meeting that is scheduled to be attended by the secretaries of health, Ayush, the department of pharmaceuticals and department of biotechnology, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Rajiv Bahl, Member (Health) of NITI Aayog V K Paul and National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) Chairman NL Arora and other senior officials.

Increase Genome Sequencing of Positive Samples: Centre Tells States

The Union Health Ministry has urged all states and Union territories to ramp up the whole genome sequencing of positive samples to keep track of newer Covid-19 variants. In a letter to states and UTs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that such an exercise will enable timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country and will facilitate the undertaking of requisite public health measures.

“In view of the sudden spurt of cases being witnessed in Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of Korea, Brazil and China, it is essential to gear up the whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track the variants through Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network,” Bhushan said.



Amid the rising COVID-19 cases in China, a top Indian health expert has cautioned the people while asking them to keep a close vigil on the situation in the country. However, the expert said that there is nothing to panic about as the country`s system is “vigilant”. The remarks were made by Dr NK Arora, Chairman of the COVID-19 working group NTAGI. 

(With Agency Inputs)

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