New Delhi: Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi has extended her support to PM Modi’s decision to announce a 21-day national lockdown. “At this challenging and uncertain times, it is imperative for each one of us to rise above partisan interests and honour our duty towards our country and indeed, towards humanity, It is in the spirit of solidarity and cooperation therefore that I would like to suggest some measures that I believe will help us to address the massive health crisis we are about to face and to ameliorate the immense economic and existential pain that vulnerable sections of our society will soon be subjected to,” Sonia wrote. Also Read - Lockdown Day 2 Updates: Total Cases in Maharashtra Rise to 130, 35 Private Labs Given Nod to Conduct COVID-19 Tests

1. The 21-day nationwide curfew is a welcome step. The Congress supports the move. Also Read - Not Being Able to Serve People Within Congress, Writes Jyotiraditya Scindia in His Resignation Letter to Sonia Gandhi

2. Arm our doctors, nurses and health workers with personal protection equipment, including N-95 masks and hazmat suits. Also Read - 'Please Don't Preach us Rajdharma': BJP Slams Sonia Gandhi For Her Remarks on Delhi Violence

3. Start a dedicated portal dealing with all Covid-19-related information, including the list of hospitals etc. There has been much uncertainty about designated hospitals and their locations.

4. Construct temporary facilities to treat the patients.

5. Enforce broad-based social protection measures including direct cash transfer for daily wagers.

6. Suspend all recoveries from farmers for a period of six months.

7. Implement the minimum income guarantee scheme, which was proposed by the Congress. Or, transfer cash amount of Rs 7,500 to every Jan Dhan Account holder.

8. Defer EMIs for a period of six months. Waive interests. The salaried class is also suffering.

9. For government employees, defer loan deductions from their salary for six months,

10. Announce comprehensive, sector-wise relief package, including necessary tax breaks, interest subvention and deferment of liabilities.