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    Economic Shutdown Will Raise Death Toll: Rahul Gandhi Writes To Modi

    The Congress leader said that the consequences of a "complete economic shutdown" will "disastrously amplify" death toll arising out of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic

    Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on March 29th, 2020 said while novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was a global pandemic, India’s conditions were unique given the dependence of a large population on daily wages.

    The Congress leader said that the consequences of a “complete economic shutdown” will “disastrously amplify” death toll arising out of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

    “The number of poor people in India who are dependent on a daily income is simply too large for us to unilaterally shut down all economic activity. The consequences of a complete economic shut down will disastrously amplify the death toll arising from the COVID-19 virus,” Gandhi said in the letter to Modi.

    He added, “A complete lockdown and the resulting shutdown of our economic engine will almost certainly ensure the millions of unemployed youth rush back to their villages, increasing the risk of infecting their parents, grandparents and the elderly population. This will result in catastrophic loss of life.”

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown from March 25th, 2020 to control the transmission of coronavirus in the country. All public and commercial transport services, – railways, flights and roads – have been suspended triggering an exodus of tens of thousands of migrant workers back to their home.

    “The government’s sudden lockdown has created immense panic and confusion. Thousands of migrant workers have been forced to leave their rented homes as they are unable to pay rent. It is important that the government intervenes and provides them money for their rent,” wrote the Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad.

    Gandhi suggested strengthening the social safety net and use every public resource to shelter the poor as a sudden, unprecedented lockdown has created immense panic and confusion.

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