Other States

Coronavirus | West Bengal Chief Secretary differs with doctors on deaths

Awaiting results in the case of four deaths as they suffered from co-morbidities, says official

While the number of the COVID-19 cases and casualties continued to rise in West Bengal, the State government is taking a lot of time to confirm whether or not the deaths are due to the contagious viral infection.

Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India | State Helpline numbers

In the past two days, doctors of the COVID-19 task force and the official bulletin of the State Health department agreed that four persons who died in the past 48 hours had “tested positive” for the virus but the State is yet to include them in the official count of causalities due to the viral infection.

On Thursday, the doctors of the task force set up by the State government told journalists at the Secretariat that the death of the four persons took the number of deceased to seven. Dhiman Ganguly, a pulmonologist and member of the special team, said two of those who died suffered from co-morbid conditions like chronic renal failure and hypertension.

Within hours, Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha refuted these figures. He said the confirmed deaths remains three and the State is waiting for confirmation on the four others.

“It is yet to be established that these four deaths have occurred because of the COVID-19. What we have seen is that they were suffering from co-morbidities,” Mr. Sinha said.

The Chief Secretary also said the number of the virus cases, which according to the doctors of the COVID task force stands at 53, should be 34. Dr. Ganguly had earlier in the day said with 16 more infected in the past 24 hours, the number has increased to 53. This was the highest rise in the State so far since the outbreak of the infection.

“Of these 53 cases, three have tested negative, so 50. Now of these 50, nine have tested negative in the second test so 41. Plus COVID-19 dead by three and four have died which is attributed to corona that has not been established. So active cases in the State is 34 at present,” the Chief Secretary said.

A similar situation had emerged on Wednesday when the doctors and the health officials confirmed three more deaths taking the count to six. But after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s remarks that these three persons suffered from other ailments, the official bulletin of the Health department said the three deceased had “reportedly tested positive” for the virus which was “subject to confirmation”.

Doctors of the expert committee also informed the journalists that 104 samples were collected for testing in the past 24 hours and the cumulative number of samples tested so far was 767.

About 58,199 people, including a large number of those who returned from foreign countries and other States, have been enlisted for surveillance in the State.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 9:59:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-bengal-chief-secretary-differs-with-doctors-on-deaths/article31241906.ece

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