BH CORRESPONDENT, Kolkata: Apurva Chandra, the head of the Inter Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) sent by the Union Home Ministry to West Bengal to assess the coronavirus scene in the state and Bengal government’s response, has sent a final letter to state chief secretary Rajiva Sinha before leaving for Delhi on Monday. And there he mentioned that Bengal has 12.8% mortality rate, which is said to be highest mortality rate from coronavirus in the country. Chanda also mentioned, “This extremely high mortality rate is a clear indication of low testing and weak surveillance and tracking.”
In the letter, Chanda wrote, “The IMCT notes that the State Government has on 30.04.2020 made a pronouncement that henceforth all deaths of COVID patients would be indicated in the daily statistics and the death certificate would be issued by the hospital with the Committee of Doctors only examining a random sample. This is a big step towards transparency. At the same time it raises the total death count of COVID patients in the State to 105 on 30.4.2020. For a total reported number of 744+72= 816 COVID patients, the mortality rate of 12.8 is by far the highest in the Country. This extremely high mortality rate is a clear indication of low testing and weak surveillance and tracking.”
“A discrepancy has been brought out in the COVID cases reported by the State in its medical bulletin and its communication with the Government of India. The bulletin of 30.4.2020 showed active COVID cases as 572, discharged after treatment 139 and expired due to COVID 33 making a total of 744. In a communication to the Union Secretary (Health & Family Welfare) from the Principal Secretary (Health) on the same day the total number of cases was indicated to be 931 leading to a discrepancy of 187 cases,” the letter further mention.
It has also alleged that the medical bulletins of the state on May 1 and May 2 didn’t even mention the total number of cases and deaths in Bengal.
The IMCT team suggested that the state needs to be transparent and consistent in reporting figures and not downplay the spread of the virus.
Ever since IMCT has set their foot into Bengal, Mamata Banerjee and the Centre have been busy in their tu tu main-main situation. Senior TMC leader Derek O’Brien had said the real aim of IMCT was to spread political virus and it was doing it shamelessly. He even called the central team India’s Most Callous Team (IMCT).
Now, as India as entered lockdown 3.0, as many as 20 Central Public Health Teams from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare have been formed and are being sent to the 20 districts that are reporting the maximum number of COVID-19 cases in the country. And among these districts, Kolkata is one of the places, the team would visit, since the City of Joy, has reported high number of coronavirus cases.