New Delhi: At a time when the coronavirus cases in the country are on the rise and many states have announced lockdown, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday slammed the Central government over the delay in the government’s decision to ban the export of essential life-saving equipment like ventilators and surgical masks. Also Read - 'Clapping Won't Help,' Says Rahul Gandhi on PM's Call to Applaud Doctors, Health Workers During Janata Curfew

Taking to Twitter, Rahul asked the Central government that which kind of forces have encouraged to delay in banning the export of essential life-saving equipment? He further asked that isn’t this a criminal conspiracy. Also Read - Unimaginable Pain For Next 6 Months: Rahul Gandhi Expresses Apprehension Over COVID-19, Economy | Watch

“Respected Prime Minister, WHO’s advice 1. Ventilator 2. Surgical Mask, why did the Indian government allow the export of all these things till March 19, instead of keeping sufficient stock? Which kind of forces have encouraged these games? Isn’t this a criminal conspiracy?” Rahul said in a tweet in Hindi. Also Read - Rahul Gandhi Targets Govt Over Coronavirus, Says 'Economy Will Be Destroyed If No Action Taken'

The statement from the Congress leader comes after the Central government had on March 19 banned the export of all ventilators, surgical/disposable masks and textile raw material used for making masks with immediate effect in wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier, the Congress leader had targeted the Centre over the slow economy and had said that there was a need for a big financial package, including tax breaks and direct cash transfers, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Saying that the coronavirus outbreak was a serious attack on the fragile economy, he had slammed PM Modi’s call for beating of ‘thalis’ in the honour of those working to contain the spread of the virus. “Clapping would not help the daily wage workers and small and medium entrepreneurs,” he had said.

He had also urged the COVID-9 Economic Response Task Force to announce compensatory packages for daily wage earners and the unorganised sector.