Loss of Rs 6.25L Cr & 52,926 deaths: Nationwide lockdown is the only option – CAIT

By SHRI RAM SHAW

New Delhi, 4 May: “It is the time for the government to choose between human lives and economy,” said the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) today. It added that total business loss in the Country due to Covid pandemic stands at about Rs.6.25 lakh crore in the month of April whereas about 52,926 persons have lost their lives. The cumulative revenue loss to the government stands at about Rs.75 thousand crores.

CAIT National President B.C. Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal in a joint statement released here today said that figure of 52,926 death casualties in India in the month of April has been taken from monthly cumulative number of deaths from the pandemic of coronavirus disease, has been reported by the Government to the World Health Organization (WHO) like other Countries submitting their monthly report to WHO.

Both trade leaders further said that out of a total business loss of Rs.6.25 lakh crore in the month of April, there is an estimated business loss of about Rs 4.25 lakh crore to the retail business whereas wholesale trade suffered a loss of about Rs. 2 lakh crore.

Bhartia and Khandelwal said that certainly the business loss figures are not only high but speaks about devastation of the domestic trade but the corresponding figures of death due to covid cannot be overlooked. For a developing economy like India, the loss of human resources is also equally important. The Country is suffering hard due to covid and in order to protect the countrymen further, strict measures need to be adopted even at the cost of bringing a halt on commercial or economic activity. On the other hand ramping up of medical facilities including availability of oxygen and covid required medicines as also augmentation of bed hospitals and in house hospital services.

They said that Human Resource has always been the biggest capital of any economy which can revive the economy under any circumstances but the economy cannot revive the loss of human resources. In the current situation, a nationwide lockdown is inevitable and that is why time and again, CAIT is urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi for imposition of a complete lockdown in the country.

They further said that to avoid any kind of transmission of covid from one person to another should be the mandate of both Central and State Governments for safeguarding the lives of the people and to break the chain of covid infections.

They expressed deep regrets for certain scrupulous people who are indulging into black marketing of medicines and medical equipments and have asked the Union Government to take strict actions against such people and fast track courts should be set up to deal with such cases to deliver harshest punishment to such people for their in-human act. There cannot be any way to let these people escape from the punishment for their heinous crime.

Nominate a Union Minister as a nodal minister to supervise

CAIT has conducted an online survey in which majority of people have expressed their opinion for imposition of a nationwide lock-down and in context of Delhi, nomination of a Union Minister as a nodal minister to supervise Covid operations in Delhi. It has assured the Prime Minister that in the event of a nationwide lock down, the trading community across the Country will not lag behind in maintaining supply chain of essential items, as the CAIT did last year at the time of lockdown. Of 9117 people surveyed across the Country, 82.6% have agreed that nomination of a Union Minister as nodal minister for Delhi will be of great help to deal with the pandemic in an effective manner.

Sublime suggestions for making Oxygen Policy in the country

In the wake of the current situation arising out of the Corona crisis in the Country resulting into acute shortage of oxygen in Delhi and other states, CAIT, in a communication sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi has suggested making an Oxygen Policy in the country. It must be mandatory for the hospitals to build their own oxygen plant within their premises coupled with sufficient and secure place to keep stocks of Oxygen Cylinders. The medium and small scale hospitals should pool in and set up their oxygen plants. A National Oxygen Grid should be formed on the pattern of Electricity grids. The Railway should run Oxygen Express regularly to ensure timely delivery of oxygen throughout the country. The Green Corridor should be open for oxygen cylinders at all times, so that provision should be made in the law. It should be made mandatory to build a medical room according to their capacity in large housing societies, clubs, resorts, hotels, stadiums and markets, where necessary medical facilities like 1-2 beds, oxygen cylinders and ventilators must be made available.

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