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Centre asks Rahul Gandhi to suspend Bharat Jodo Yatra; Cong asks 'What are protocols'

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with padyatris during the party's Bharat Jodo Yatra in Rajasthan

Congress' Bharat Jodo Yatra is all set to enter the national capital, Delhi, on 24 December. Coincidentally, the letter to the Congress leaders was issued, on 20 December.

In response to Mandaviya's letter, Congress MP Karti Chidamabaram questioned the Centre for targeting only grand old party, that too, when there are no restrictions on other public gatherings.

Chidambaram told ANI news agency, "I haven't seen the letter but what are the COVID protocols today? We don't seem to be having any enforceable COVID protocols in any other public gatherings. Why this sudden attention to Bharat Jodo Yatra if not that it is rankling the BJP?"

Another Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury asked the Centre whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi followed Covid protocols during the Gujarat elections.

In a verbal attack against the union health minister, Chowdhury said, "I think Mansukh Mandaviya is not liking Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra but people are liking it and joining it. Mandaviya has been deputed to divert public's attention".

India's Covid tally is comparatively way lower than that of China at present. However, considering the geographical location between the two countries, the Centre is looking to take swift action to avert health crises in the  country.

On Wednesday, India's Covid case count climbed to 4,46,76,330 with 131 fresh infections reported in 24 hours. The number of active cases came down to 3,408 and three deaths were reported in a day.

The active cases comprise 0.01% of the total infections. The national Covid-19 recovery rate increased to 98.80%, according to the ministry's website.

A decrease of 82 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. Whereas China recorded 3,049 new domestic Covid cases Wednesday and zero new deaths.

The hospitals in China are struggling, pharmacy shelves are stripped bare and crematoriums are overwhelmed in the wake of the Chinese government's sudden decision last month to lift years of lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing.

But the government said Tuesday said that only those who had directly died of respiratory failure caused by the virus would be counted under Covid death statistics.

From the country's northeast to its southwest, crematorium workers said they are struggling to keep up with a surge in deaths, AFP news agency said.

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