The West Bengal Doctors Forum (WBDF) has written a letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urging to ensure transparency in the data being collected for coronavirus.
West Bengal Doctors Forum urges Mamata Banerjee, Bengal’s chief minister and health minister, to ensure that all data collected and published (Covid related) is genuine, transparent and verifiable.— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) April 11, 2020
We have been demanding this all along. Hope she will listen to the doctors… pic.twitter.com/uTXAJFEL8u
The letter of WBDF to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has listed certain points such as “Ensuring segregation of suspects, positive patients with meticulous screening, triage, and testing. Also ensuring good quality PPE for HCWs everywhere.” The Forum raised a concern that the healthcare workers are staring at a situation of losing their livelihood in the near future that should be dealt with extreme urgency involving all the stakeholders.
The West Bengal Doctor’s Forum has concluded with a request that all the data collected and published should be genuine, transparent and verifiable. Stating that “We cannot afford to send wrong signals to the world.”
The WBDF wrote the letter calling for transparency in Coronavirus data when the numbers published by the state govt have come under the scanner. BJP has alleged that West Bengal govt is suppressing Coronavirus positive cases in the state. The govt has on record admitted that they formed an audit body to investigate whether some Coronavirus related deaths can be attributed to other co-morbidity factors. Discrepancies have also been observed in the data provided by the Mamata Banerjee government.
covid19india.org, the crowd-sourced website that provides real-time data on Coronavirus cases in India, has also reported that WB state bulletin on the disease only reports the number of active cases, which makes it difficult to know the total cases and daily new positive cases.
Earlier on Saturday, the Ministry of Home Affairs wrote a letter to Mamata Banerjee government calling out her irresponsibility and the gradual dilution of lockdown in West Bengal. The MHA letter cites a lack of control on mutton, fish markers, etc functioning unabated and people thronging in complete violation of social distancing norms set by the government. It also revealed that non-essential shops have been allowed to function in the state.
The letter cites certain areas like Metiabruz, Raja Bazaar, Narkel Danga, Topsia, Ikbalpul, etc. Incidentally, these areas have a high concentration of Muslim population.
It also mentions that “religious congregations” have been allowed in the state. Invoking the Disaster Management Act, the letter says that these actions are in violation of the guidelines released by the Ministry and are liable for penal action. The ministry then demands that strict action be taken and that a report be sent to the ministry regarding the matter.