CPI(M) appeals to observe Mar 22 as people's solidarity against Coronavirus threat


New Delhi, The CPI(M) on Friday appealed to the people to observe the day, March 22, as people's solidarity against COVID-19, a deadly virus, which affected 206 persons in India, till today morning.Addressing the nation, the Prime Minister had called for Janata Curfew on March 22 from 0700 hours to 2100 hours in wake of Coronavirus outbreak.Stating that the Prime Minister has not proposed any concrete steps to deal with the health and economic aspects to fight against Coronovirus threat, the CPI(M) asked people to observe the day as people's solidarity day with several demands like scale up testing for the virus to cover the widest sections of people, especially those with some symptoms like cold, fever, cough etc.

"Announce increased expenditure to strengthen public health system with adequate free testing, hospital facilities, isolation wards and ventilators. Rope in private hospitals to provide free treatment of Coronavirus patients", the party asked the government.The CPI(M) also demanded to give cash transfer of Rs. 5,000 to Jan Dhan accounts and all BPL beneficiaries. "The Centre should provide the funds to the states for this", it said and added, give free ration for a month through PDS to all BPL/APL families, including migrant labour utilising the huge existing stock of 7.5 crore tonnes in the FCI godowns. "Expand MGNREGS for 150 days and ensure all who want to avail it is given work, expand and strengthen the public distribution system to cover all essential commodities, In lieu of mid-day meal scheme in schools, provide ration kits to the children's houses", it said.

The party also demanded to institute financial packages for sectors hit by the pandemic and added that "this financial support must be conditional to the companies and enterprises not resorting to lay-offs and termination of jobs for the next three months". "Constitute a fund to extend financial assistance/allowances to all workers in the informal and unorganized sectors whose livelihood is affected. Workers and employees who have to stay away from work due to the Coronavirus should be given paid sick leave", the Left party said. The CPI(M) also demanded a moratorium on bank loans for a year for SMEs and retail traders.