'Critics should come forward and contribute in filling up missing gaps in COVID management'

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New Delhi, May 17 (PTI) Union minister Jitendra Singh hit out at opposition parties on Monday for criticising the government for the alleged mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic and appealed to the 'critics' to come forward and contribute in filling up the missing gaps, 'if they genuinely see any'.

He said this is a calamity that happens once in a century and it is time to rise above politics to fight COVID in the larger interest of mankind.

The minister of state for personnel expressed disappointment at the fact that many opposition leaders as well as 'so-called intellectuals' spend a lot of their time and energy in issuing statements in the media or posting tweets criticising the government for the alleged mismanagement of the pandemic.

He said if this time and energy were spent by them in joining hands with the administration and like-minded citizens to meet the challenge, India's fight against COVID would have become much easier.

Singh said he has observed a recent phenomenon, where some kind of one-upmanship has set in among opposition leaders as well as some journalists to continuously run a campaign denouncing the government, according to a statement issued by the personnel ministry.

He appealed to all such critics to come forward and contribute in filling up the missing gaps, if they genuinely see any, it said.

Singh also hit out at the critics who are crying hoarse to tell the world that the government failed to foresee the severity of the second wave of the pandemic.

He asked them to check the records that as late as February, even the best of the scientists and medical professionals across the world had not predicted that the second wave would be of such severity.

'Many of them are on record having said that the second wave may be characterised with more of virus infectivity but less of virulence, but in many a COVID patients that we see today, it has been just the contrary,' the minister said.

How fair, therefore, would it be to blame the government for this, he asked.

Describing the current situation as trying times for all, Singh said it is not an occasion to indulge in motivated criticism for political reasons or manufactured criticism for extraneous considerations.

Instead, he said, it is important to build confidence among people and explain to them how the pandemic is being effectively fought on a war footing in a country as vast as India with a population of over 135 crore.

Singh also appealed to all to check the facts before rushing to conclusions and making public comments, which tend to create panic in the society. PTI AKV RC

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