Even as India is battling the coronavirus crisis, the Congress Party is spreading misinformation — and through one of its national spokespersons, no less.
Congress’s official spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala today took to Twitter and attacked the Modi government for not conducting sufficient coronavirus tests in the country. “Honourable Modiji, the country wants information on the following 7 things. 1. The only way to stop the coronavirus is through testing. From 1st February to 14th April 2020, in 73 days, India only conducted 14,376 coronavirus tests. This translates to 197 tests per day,” he claimed. “What is your plan to increase the number of tests?” he asked.
It seemed like a serious charge — for the Indian government to be conducting only 197 tests a day would indicate that the number of tests was indeed quite low, and a possible cause for concern in India’s fight against the coronavirus.
But if the Congress promoted leaders on merit instead of sycophancy, Surjewala would’ve thought twice about tweeting the numbers he did. News channels have been reporting ad nauseum that India now has over 10,000 coronavirus cases, and for the country to have conducted only 14,376 tests would indicate that nearly all of them had turned out to be positive.
As it turns out, Surjewala was hilariously wrong. India has thus far conducted 2,06,212 tests till 13th April, which was nearly 15 times more than the number quoted by Surjewala. When this was pointed out, Surjewala deleted his tweet.
But the matter didn’t end there — Surjewala presumably finally did his research and found out the number of tests. Bizzarely, he plugged in the now-corrected numbers to his old tweet, and published it again.
The entire text of the tweet was the same, save for the corrected numbers. Surjewala was presumably unhappy about India doing 197 tests a day, thinking it wasn’t high enough, and put out a tweet. When he learnt that India was doing 3,021 tests a day, he still continued to attack the government, saying the number of tests wasn’t enough. The Congress appears determined to attack the Indian government on whatever it does — one gets the feeling that even if Surjewala had found out that the Indian government was doing a billion tests a day, he might just have plugged those numbers in and continued attacking the Modi government.