Bengal facing testing kits shortage: Mamata

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.  

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday held a meeting with the representatives of 11 political parties and raised the issue of severe shortage of COVID-19 testing kits. The State has 90 testing kits till Monday evening.

Leader of the Opposition Abdul Mannan raised the issue in the meeting that more people should be tested for the infection in the State. Responding to this, the Chief Minister said that there were not enough testing kits available with the State government. She did not mention about the number of kits with the private health facilities.

State BJP vice-president Joyprakash Majumdar also highlighted the issue and quoted the Indian Council of Medical Research officials who claimed that enough kits are are available in the country. “I said during the meeting with the Prime Minister (last week) that we had only 40 testing kits. Now some additional kits have come and we have 90 kits,” Ms. Banerjee said.

She requested the BJP leaders to ask the Centre for more kits for the State with a population of about 100 million.

As per the bulletin issued by State health department on March 22, it has tested only 128 persons so far, of which seven have tested positive. Later, Ms. Banerjee clarified that not all people require testing.

Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to stop all flights to the State. “I would request you to kindly make arrangement to issue necessary instructions to stop all flights coming to West Bengal with immediate effect so that the source of spreading infection is effectively contained and the lockdown in the State is implemented in true letter and spirit,” she wrote.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 3:30:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/bengal-facing-testing-kits-shortage-mamata/article31146738.ece

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