New Delhi: A day after blaming the Central government over delay in banning the export of essential life-saving equipment like ventilators and surgical masks, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the country as a whole should have taken the threat of coronavirus much more seriously and should have better prepared. Also Read - ‘Criminal Conspiracy’: Rahul Targets Centre Again Over Delay in Banning Export of Ventilators, Masks

“I am feeling sad, because this was completely avoidable. We had time to prepare. We should have taken this threat much more seriously and have been much better prepared,” he said in a tweet. Also Read - 'Clapping Won't Help,' Says Rahul Gandhi on PM's Call to Applaud Doctors, Health Workers During Janata Curfew

He said this in response to a tweet of a doctor Kamna Kakkar, who said she is frustrated in view of shortage of N95 masks and took a swipe at the beating of ‘thalis’ and applause on the call given by PM Modi.

Prior to this, Rahul had on February 12 also said that the Central government should take the coronavirus threat seriously and must address the issue immediately.

Besides, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also alleged that the government is criminally culpable of not defining specifications of personal protection equipment for doctors and health workers till March 2. He also demanded an answer from PM Modi.

“Dear PM, the government is criminally culpable of not defining ‘Specifications’ of Personal Protection Equipment for Doctors-Health Workers between 1st Feb-2nd March, 2020; Permitting export of PPE material, Masks, Ventilatos upto 19th March. Nation needs to know,” he said on Twitter.

He also said there is something wrong with the Central government’s strategy to fight COVID-19.  “Dear PM, This is what is wrong with your strategy to fight COVID-19. Doctors-Nurses-Health Workers don’t need mere ‘taali mention’ but ‘protection’ of N-95 Masks, Hazmat Suits/Shields, Gloves/Goggles/Shoe Covers. Listen to the clarion call of this government doctor,” he said, citing some public comments made by doctors.