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‘India is ready to unlock, resume normal life, economic activities’

‘India is ready to unlock, resume normal life, economic activities’

India, which has spruced up its healthcare infrastructure to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, is ready to unlock and resume economic activities, said Gopal Krishna Agarwal, BJP’s national spokesperson on economic affairs. The level of general awareness on the disease and the dos and don’ts has risen considerably in the last two months of lockdown, he added.

“We are ready to resume life and economic activities, of course in an altered ecosystem. So, we will have to follow the guidelines of social distancing and hygiene in the new normal set up, but otherwise, we are gradually opening up. Economic activities have already resumed but in the coming days, things will become even more normal,” Agarwal told IN.

At present, there are over 950 hospitals and 2,000 health centres for Covid-19 cases. The hospitals are equipped to provide comprehensive treatment to patients with severe conditions. Over 1 lakh beds have also been organized for Covid-19 patients. Several quarantine centres for Covid-19 patients have also been set up.

“When the disease came to India, our healthcare infrastructure was not robust enough to handle Covid-19. As it was a totally new virus, the medical requirements were very different and we were not very well versed with the care. Now we are. Our healthcare and medical facilities are sufficiently robust to handle the situation,” Agarwal said, adding that citizens have also become more aware about the disease.

Agarwal said that while many migrants have been in pain to reach their native homes, the Centre had been providing with buses and trains to help them commute. He said that the problem arose when a few states did not co-operate.

But other states did co-operate. “For example, the UP government had made full arrangements for the migrant laborers returning to the state, they were provided buses, money was given and even quarantine centres were set up,” he said

The government, Agarwal said, is taking all steps to ensure that the livelihoods of those who have returned to their villages, remain protected.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced additional allocation of Rs 40,000 crore towards the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment (MGNREGA) as thousands of migrant laborers have left the cities and returned. In her Budget announcement, she made an allocation of Rs 61,000 crore.

The additional amount is expected to ensure that migrants are employed.

Agarwal said that there is no shortage of labor in cities, even as many of them migrated back to their villages. “While economic activities have resumed, it is still some time way to attain normalcy. At the moment, there is no demand and many of the factories and offices are operating with limited workforce. Once we are out of this situation and economic activities in cities normalize, many of them may want to come back but till then their livelihood needs to be protected and the higher MGNREGA allocation will ensure that,” he said..