On Monday, the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) in its letter to the State Chief Secretary Rajiv Sinha highlighted the “extremely high mortality rate” of Coronavirus in the State of West Bengal, besides the lack of transparent and consistent reporting of the pandemic.
The team appointed by the Central Government for making an on-spot assessment has made its final observations after spending two weeks in the State, starting from April 20.
IMCT observes High Mortality Rate
Slamming the State Government, the IMCT leader Apurva Chandra stated that 105 people have lost their lives to the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic out of 816 reported cases in West Bengal. As such, the Mamata Banerjee-led-State accounts for the highest mortality rate (12.8%) in the country. Chandra attributed the weak surveillance of the government and the low testing conducted in the State as the cause behind the high mortality rate.
Highlighting the lack of transparency and vicious attempts to downplay the outbreak of the Chinese virus in West Bengal, IMCT emphasised on the need for consistent reporting and daily surveillance of patients in hotspots.
Discrepancy in Data
IMCT also pointed out the discrepancy in data released by the State Government about the status of the pandemic in the State. At one time, the West Bengal Government put the number of infected patients at 744. However, it stated the figure of 931 infected patients while briefing the Union Health Ministry on the same day.
Further, the letter alleged that the State bulletins of May 1 and May 2 did not mention the total mortality or the number of Coronavirus patients in the State. IMCT highlighted how the State claimed to have surveyed 50 lac people but did not provide any evidence for the same to the team.
IMCT alleges non cooperation from West Bengal Govt.
On April 25, IMCT complained that four letters had been written to the State Government since April 20 but no response had been received for the same. IMCT alleged that in gross violation of the MHA order, the Chief Secretary of the government had made media statements refusing to allow senior officials to accompany the team, under the pretext of “not wasting their time.”
The leader of the team further revealed that while a presentation was made by the State Health Department on 10 aspects sought by IMCT, the hard copy of the presentation was not provided to the team.