India has recorded a rise of 354 novel coronavirus- COVID-19 positive cases and 5 deaths in last 24 hours. With significant increase in number of cases, the total number of coronavirus positive cases has reached 4421, including 3981 active cases, 325 cured and 114 deaths. State-wise, Maharastra continues to be the worst affected with 748 confirmed cases, 56 cured , 45 deaths, followed by Tamil Nadu with 621 confirmed cases, 8 cured, 7 deaths and Delhi with 523 confirmed cases, 19 cured, 7 deaths.

Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi on April 7, 2020, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which she supported Union Cabinet’s decision of 30% deduction in the salaries of Members of Parliament and gave her suggestions to tackle the situation at hand due to COVID-19 outbreak, including transferring all money under PM CARES fund to Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).

Sonia Gandhi’s first suggestion is a complete ban of media advertisements by government and Public Sector Undertakings (PSU) for two years, barring COVID-19 advisories. Her second suggestion is to suspend Rs 20,000 central vista beautification and construction project. She stated that this sum can be allocated to constructing new hospitals and equipping frontline healthcare workers with PPE and better facilities.

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The third suggestion is a 30% reduction in expenditure budget. She wrote that the sum, which amounts to Rs 2.5 lakh crore, can be rather used to establish an economic safety net for migrant workers, labourers, farmers, MSME and those in unorganised sector. She also advised to put all foreign visits on hold.

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Commenting on the PM CARES fund, Sonia Gandhi’s fifth suggestion is that all the money under PM CARES fund should be transferred to Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) to ensure efficiency, transparency and accountability. She said that two separate entities for distribution of funds seems like a waste of effort and resources. Moreover, she suggested that Rs 3800 crore, which are already in PMNRF , can be utilized to ensure immediate food security. Before ending her note, Sonia Gandhi wrote that it is time that the legislature and executive reciprocate the trust and good faith of people.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also devised a 5-step plan today to curb the spread of coronavirus in the state. Highlighting the key steps of Testing, Tracing, Treating, Teamwork as well as Tracking and monitoring, Arvind Kejriwal said that the government will leave no stone unturned to protect the people of Delhi.

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