Highest Death Rate, Data Mismatch: Central Panel Red Flags Bengal Covid-19 Situation

The team was deployed to survey some districts for reviewing the implementation of the ongoing lockdown in the state.

West Bengal   |   6 May 2020 8:13 AM GMT / Updated : 2020-05-06T13:58:15+05:30
Writer : Devyani Madaik | Editor : Shubhendu Deshmukh | Creatives : Abhishek M
Highest Death Rate, Data Mismatch: Central Panel Red Flags Bengal Covid-19 Situation
CREDITS: One India
In a letter to West Bengal Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha, the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) has asked the state to be more 'transparent and consistent' while reporting numbers of COVID-19 cases, after Bengal was found to have 12.8 per cent mortality rate, the highest in the country.


IMCT team leader Apurva Chandra, in the letter, claimed that in West Bengal the total death toll due to coronavirus stood at 105 and 816 positive cases until April 30, clearly seen as a result of less testing and weak surveillance and tracing.

The letter stated that all the observations of the team were on the basis of the limited field facilitated by the state government.

The team also added the state held an 'agnostic view' towards the team, in contrast to other states, supporting and scheduling meetings with regard to the measures to be followed for the tracking. There was no database provided by the state government over their claim of conducting a high level of surveillance in containment zones.

In the same regard, Apurva has written seven letters to Sinha and four to the secretaries of the state's Home, Health, Urban Development and Municipality departments, but could only communicate with the Principal Secretary (Health) over a video call, receiving a partial response.

However, the letter also commended the state health department's efforts for increasing testing rate from 400 per day till April 20 to 2,410 per day on May 2, also mentioning the pooling of samples that have started in six labs. The committee advised the department to continue the robust testing in the same momentum.

The report has been submitted to the Union Home Ministry as 'Final Observation Of The IMCT'. The team has also sent a list of almost 37 questions to the state government, seeking the containment measures taken by the state and details of the people tested positive for the virus. The letter further stated the state to take up the suggestions conveyed through various communications in the right spirit.

On April 20, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote a letter to the PM, criticising the Centre's decision to send inter-ministerial teams to the state without prior information, breaching the established protocol and keeping the state government in the complete dark.

Also Read: Kolkata: Social Distancing Goes For A Toss As Hundreds Gather In Howrah After Police Call For Peace March

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