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Coronavirus | West Bengal confirms three more deaths

Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee   | Photo Credit: PTI

“Twenty four new cases were reported in the State in the past 24 hours,” Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha told journalists at the State Secretariat.

The State government on Thursday confirmed three more deaths due to coronavirus (COVID-19), taking the toll in West Bengal to 10.

“Twenty four new cases were reported in the State in the past 24 hours,” Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha told journalists at the State Secretariat. “Nine people have been discharged. The total number of active cases in the State stands at 144 as on April 16,” he said. Mr. Sinha added that the three deaths were endorsed by the audit committee of doctors, which is looking into COVID-19 deaths, taking the number to 10. The Chief Secretary added that so far 3,811 samples had been tested in the State.

Interactive map of confirmed cases in India

Asked to comment on reports that the Centre had identified four districts as COVID-19 hotspots, Mr. Sinha said the State and Centre were working on the same figures. “We are calling them as containment zones and taking adequate steps so that the outbreak does not spill out of these areas,” he explained. The Union Health Ministry has identified 170 districts as hotspots or red zones. In West Bengal, the Centre has identified four districts as red zones, which include Kolkata and Howrah.

State Helpline numbers | State-wise tracker for coronavirus cases

Emphasising that health is a State subject and that COVID-19 is a pandemic, Mr. Sinha said that he did not understand the bias in the questions that the Centre was giving instructions. “ It cannot be like the Centre is giving instructions and the State is following or not following,” he observed.


Glitches in ration distribution

Meanwhile, after holding a Cabinet meeting Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed displeasure over some glitches in the distribution of rations. In 90% of the areas, the distribution had been carried out properly and in 10% rations had not been distributed. “We have already announced that the State government will provide free rations for six months,” the chief minister said. “Five kilogram of rice or wheat will be given per person,” she added. Ms. Banerjee said that a new secretary would be appointed for the State’s Food and Supplies department and rations would be distributed to all as announced by the State government. The Chief Minister also dismissed allegations of irregularities in the distribution of rations as an “attempt to fish in troubled waters”.

BJP leaders’ allegations

Certain BJP leaders including MPs alleged that the State administration was trying to intimidate them by lodging police complaints and limiting their movement. Bankura MP Subhas Sarkar said that the State government had lodged a criminal case against him for raising questions on social media on the “hasty cremation” of the two persons in Bankura.


Another BJP MP John Barla, who represents Alipurduar, alleged that his movement was being restricted by the local police. BJP MP from Barrackpore Arjun Singh got into an altercation with local police authorities when he was allegedly stopped from distributing rations in the Amdanga area of North 24 Parganas.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 9:47:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-west-bengal-confirms-three-more-deaths/article31359794.ece

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