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Will be disappointed if PM doesn’t announce lockdown: Chidambaram as Coronavirus spreads

Chidambaram further questioned why the Government was refusing to ‘take the logical step of a lockdown’.

SNS | New Delhi |

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation at 8pm today amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said he will be “disappointed” if the PM does not announce a total lockdown.

“What will the PM announce at 8 pm today? I will be disappointed if the PM did not announce a total lockdown, at least of all towns and cities, for a period of 2-4 weeks. Anything less will be letting down this country,” Chidambaram said in a tweet.

Earlier in the day, the former finance minister had expressed concerns and urged the Government to order an “immediate lockdown of all our towns and cities for 2-4 weeks” in an effort to contain the novel Coronavirus outbreak in the country.

“After WHO Director General’s statement yesterday, there should be no hesitation in ordering an immediate lockdown of all our towns and cities for 2-4 weeks,” Chidambaram tweeted this morning.

This was in reference to the Wednesday’s statement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in which the global body chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged all nations to “isolate, test and treat every suspected case” and trace every possible contact made by suspected COVID-19 patients.

Chidambaram further questioned why the Government was refusing to “take the logical step of a lockdown”.

Italy, Iran and Spain are among the worst-hit countries by the COVID-19 pandemic outside China.

Meanwhile, India has so far recorded 167 cases with four deaths, a sharp rise from last week.

The Congress has raised alarm over the developing situation asserting that the Narendra Modi government’s response has been inadequate and unsatisfactory.

Rahul Gandhi, who has been expressing concern over the pandemic since February, tweeted on Wednesday: “Quick aggressive action is the answer to tackling the Coronavirus. India is going to pay an extremely heavy price for our government’s inability to act decisively.”