BH CORRESPONDENT, Kolkata: Deaths due to coronavirus infection jumped to 33 in West Bengal on Thursday, up from 22 on Wednesday. But there is a catch: chief secretary Rajiva Sinha, quoting an expert committee report monitoring the deaths in the state said that the figure is 72 if one were to take into account people who passes away due to complications arising from COVID infection.
The opposition in the state has time and again questioned the figures dished out by the expert panel formed by the Mamata Banerjee regime and has even raised the issue with the central team on coronavirus that recently toured parts of the state. Parties like the CPI(M) has even accused the government of suppressing facts about coronavirus infections.
“The expert committee after examining all medical records came to the conclusion that 11 more persons died due to COVID-19,” the chief secretary said in his media briefing on Thursday.
According to Sinha, 572 persons with infection are recovering in various state hospitals. The chief secretary said that the expert committee in its report recommended the mandatory mentioning of the immediate cause of death and the underlying cause of death in the death certificate issued by hospitals.
Sinha made it clear that hospitals need no prior permission from the government for admission, treatment and testing of a suspect or confirmed COVID patient. The matter has cropped up because many hospitals are apparently refusing to treat people with COVID symptoms.
Meanwhile, 37 new cases of coronavirus were reported in the state in the last 24 hours. Apart from eight districts which have been declared green zones namely Alipurduar, Bankura, Birbhum, Cooch Bihar, South Dinajpur, Jhargram, Purulia and North Dinajpur, West Bengal has 444 containment zones. In Kolkata, there 264 containment zones, North 24 Parganas has 70 and Howrah has 72 containment zones.