Eight healthcare professionals associations in Bengal, including the Indian Medical Association (IMA), have written to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee demanding more transparency on detection, treatment and deaths of coronavirus positive patients in the state, reports ANI.
In a joint letter written to Banerjee, the eight medical bodies asked the govt to share “real-time, transparent data of COVID-19” in Bengal and daily medical bulletins of all healthcare workers under treatment.
Indian Medical Association (IMA) & 7 other medical organizations have collectively written to West Bengal CM. Letter states, “Real-time, transparent data of #COVID19 in our state, including daily medical bulletins of all healthcare workers under treatment is highly solicited”. pic.twitter.com/hTeRNmFz2U— ANI (@ANI) April 21, 2020
Ensure safety and security of frontline workers
The medical organisations also urged the West Bengal Chief Minister to ensure safety and security for all the frontline healthcare workers, and provide necessary protective measures as per ICMR and World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.
The 11-point letter, one of whose signatories in Trinamool MP Santanu Sen, also urged Mamata Banerjee to address the issue of adequate protective gear for frontline healthcare workers. The medical bodies also asked to set up more testing centres and empowering doctors to order tests of suspected patients.
Follow ICMR guidelines
The statement included that the Mamata Banerjee should adhere to the ICMR guidelines regarding issuing death certificates and suggested that committees set up by the state government to combat the pandemic ought to include epidemiologists, virologists and public health experts.
“With the permission of ICMR, more and more corona testing centres should be opened and at least one in every region and testing should be done as per ICMR guidelines. There should be a sample collection centre at least at every sub-divisional level,” read the letter.
The letter by all the eight bodies representing healthcare professionals in Bengal comes at a time when there has been massive criticism against Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government for lack of seriousness in efforts against coronavirus. There have been allegations that state government has been fudging numbers to show less number of cases in West Bengal.
West Bengal sitting on a “time-bomb”: Health experts
The suppression of facts and fudging of data has become a major worry for authorities and health experts in West Bengal, which has now snowballed into a huge controversy between the Trinamool Congress-led West Bengal government and health-care experts.
The health-care experts believe that the situation in Bengal is very grave as the Mamata Banerjee-led government has not been giving real data to assess the actual seriousness of the pandemic. From threats to doctors for whistleblowing against the state government against lack of facilities to allegations of state government illegally disposing of dead bodies, there have been serious allegations against the Mamata Banerjee government in Bengal.