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Health Minister tells Cong to suspend Yathra if Covid protocols can't be ensured

Bharat Jodo Yatra

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has written to Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot urging them to ensure the strict use of Covid protocol during Bharat Jodo Yatra in light of the surge in Covid-19 instances in numerous countries, including China.

In his letter, the minister recommended that the Yatra be suspended in the interest of the country if the party is unable to ensure that Covid-19 standards are followed.

They have been advised by the minister to make sure that only vaccinated individuals participate in the Yatra, Indian Express reported.

“Along with this letter, please take into context the letter written by Rajasthan Assembly members – P P Chaudhary, Nihal Chand and Deviji Patel on December 20, 2022, in which they had expressed worries about the spreading of Covid during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Rajasthan. They highlighted two major points to prevent the disease from spreading in the state and all over India — 1) strict covid guidelines should be followed during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Rajasthan. Use of masks and sanitisers should be encouraged. Only vaccinated people should be allowed to take part in the Yatra. Before joining the Yatra, people should be isolated. 2) If the above-mentioned protocols cannot be followed, then keeping public health emergency into account, the Bharat Jodo Yatra is requested to be suspended,” the Minister further stated.

The MPs also brought up how Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, tested positive for a coronavirus infection after returning from the event. Additionally, the Union Health Minister sent the letter signed by MPs to the Congress leaders and requested that Rahul address their concerns, according to PTI.

Responding to the letter, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury Wednesday said: “I want to ask the BJP, did Prime Minister Narendra Modi follow Covid protocols during Gujarat polls? 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,” news agency ANI reported.

Stating that he hasn’t seen the letter yet, Congress MP Karti Chidambaram asked: “But, what are the Covid 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,” he added.

Meanwhile, TMC MP Dola Sen said: “They could have issued an advisory. Though we are at the Parliament, no circular came for wearing masks or taking preventive measures. The Centre’s responsibility should be towards the public, but they fail there. We don’t expect much from them.”

The Union Health Ministry issued an alert on Tuesday and instructed all states and UTs to sequence all positive case samples on a daily basis due to the increase in Covid infections in several countries.

The Union Health Minister will meet with key administrators and experts on Wednesday to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the nation; India has been reporting over 1,200 cases a week.

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TAGS:CongressCovid 19Health Minister
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