04:10 GMT19 April 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India’s main opposition party Congress warned the federal government about the seriousness of the coronavirus before the government took note of it. Former Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi warned the government on 12 February that the virus “is an extremely serious threat to our people and our economy.”

    The former Chief of India’s main opposition Congress Party Rahul Gandhi has again taken to Twitter to slam the federal government over its handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

    In a cryptic message, “The lockdown proves....” Gandhi quoted Albert Einstein “The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance,” along with a video that shows that the lockdown flattened the wrong curve - the country's economy.

    ​Last week, Rahul Gandhi said that India was about to win the ‘wrong race.’

    ​Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to meet state chiefs in a virtual conference on 16 and 17 June to review the response to the spiralling infection.

    India’s burden of COVID-19 has grown to overtake countries like Italy, Spain, Iran and the United Kingdom.  The highest caseload in the country is in Maharashtra with 107,958 cases, out of which 50,978 have recovered and 3,950 died. Delhi with 41,182 cases (15,823 cured and 1,327 deaths) was second followed by Tamil Nadu with 44,661 cases, according to data released by the federal health ministry.

    Congress had initially supported the nationwide lockdown, but later changed its stand due to “the cure being worse than the disease.”

    While Rahul Gandhi has been critical of the government for “not taking this threat seriously,” he has been attacked by several ministers, including federal Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who said: “@RahulGandhi obviously ‘knows’ better than @WHO which is saying there is no need to panic.”

    ​The lockdown, which was first announced on 24 March for 21 days by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to mitigate the spread of the infection, was extended three more times before a partial reopening on 1 June, after the economy went into a tailspin.

    The World Bank forecasts India’s economy to contract by 3.2 percent in the current fiscal year, sharply downgrading its projection in April of 1.5 percent to 2.8 percent growth. The bank cited the stringent lockdown and the spill over effects of weaker global growth for the contraction.


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