New Delhi: As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India reached around 500, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday lambasted the Narendra Modi government and accused it of delaying its decision to ban the export of life-saving equipment like ventilators. Also Read - Explained: Covid Tongue And How You Catch Early Signs

The government had on March 19 banned export of all ventilators, surgical/disposable masks and textile raw material used for making masks with immediate effect in wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Also Read - Maharashtra Bracing For 15-day Complete Lockdown? Final Decision Likely Today

“Respected Prime Minister, why did the Indian government allow the export of all these things till March 19 contrary to WHO’s advice to keep sufficient stock of ventilators and surgical masks. Which forces encouraged these games? Isn’t this a criminal conspiracy,” Gandhi asked in a tweet in Hindi. Also Read - Hyderabad And Outskirts Report 70 Clusters Amid Soaring COVID Cases In Telangana: Report

The Congress MP also tagged a news report which claimed that India did not stockpile coronavirus protective equipment for health workers despite WHO guidelines in this regard.