SOUMEN DATTA, Kolkata: The Inter Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) which is visiting West Bengal to assess the coronavirus scene in the state and asses the state government’s response, has sent another observation to the Bengal government after visiting the Dumurjola quarantine centre in Howrah, the Sanjivan Multi-Specialty Hospital and Salkia.
The team had earlier sent a note to the government after visiting the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) at Rajarhat and the MR Bangur Hospital on April 23.
After visiting the Dumurjola quarantine centre, the team found that there were 80 persons in quarantine. The centre, an indoor stadium, has the capacity of 118 people. “The inmates are sent for testing after a seven-day stay at the facility and the test results are received in 2-3 days. While the inmates expressed satisfaction with the food and stay arrangements, there was apprehension amongst the inmates about being taken in a cramped van for testing without maintaining social distancing,” said the IMCT in the letter to the state government.
The IMCT also noticed the inconvenience faced by the quarantined persons as they are not allowed to carry their mobile phones.
“Since the authorities has taken away the mobile phones from the inmates, they were apprehensive as they had no information about the safety of their kin admitted to COVID hospitals,” wrote IMCT in its observation.
The IMCT, however, praised the treatment facility at the Sanjivan Hospital where there are beds for 70 COVID patients.
Regarding Salkia, which has been declared as containment zone , the IMCT stressed for survey and surveillance by a multidisciplinary teams of the local administration. “Unless this is carried out simultaneously during the period of containment, no purpose would be served,” observed the IMCT.
The IMCT sought data, records and information regarding the surveillance carried out in the containment zone like number of households and individuals contacted, numbers found with symptoms, action taken regarding such individuals, contact tracing of COVID positive patients in the containment zone, etc.
The IMCT in its earlier letter had sought information about the testing, quarantine and contact tracing of individual who attended the the Nizamuddin Markaz event in Delhi and who had returned to West Bengal based on the data provided by the Government of India to the Government of West Bengal.
The IMCT has also pointed out how the state government was not cooperating with it since they reached Kolkata.
“The IMCT has been in Kolkata since 10 am on 20.04.2020. Four letters have been written by the IMCT to the state government till today. No response has been received to any of the letters till date. A hard copy of the presentation which was made on 23.04.2020 has also not been made available,” said the IMCT in a letter to the state government on April 25.
The IMCT in its observation has also criticized the chief secretary’s press statement. “The chief secretary of West Bengal has been widely reported in the media of having stated in his daily press conference that the IMCT is free to visit anywhere and senior officers of the state government cannot waste their time accompanying the team. The above stand is in violation of the order of the Ministry of Home Affairs as the state government is expected to provide logistic support and facilities for all field visits,” said the IMCT in its letter to the state government.