Coronavirus lockdown: Revenues hit, Mamata ropes in Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee to plan for future

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Published: April 6, 2020 6:44:18 PM

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has decided to form a Global Advisory Committee for coronavirus response policy in the state. Banerjee further informed that Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee will be a part of the committee on COVID-19.

The total active cases as of 12 pm on Monday were 61, of which 55 were from just seven families.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that there was a need to plan for the future as it was difficult for the state to carry on with a complete shutdown that has affected the state’s revenues. She said that there was no revenue due to complete lockdown and no one knows how long the state will have to stay like this. In this backdrop, the chief minister has decided to form a Global Advisory Committee for coronavirus response policy in the state. Banerjee further informed that Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee will be a part of the committee on COVID-19.

Sharing the number of coronavirus cases in Bengal, Mamata Banerjee said that the total active cases as of 12 pm on Monday were 61, of which 55 were from just seven families. However, the Ministry of Health website puts the number of cases reported from West Bengal 80 with 10 cases of recoveries and 30 deaths.

The chief minister also blamed the Centre for not cooperating with her government in their fight against COVID-19. She said that till Sunday, the Centre had sent only 3000 PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kits. She said that she herself arranged 2,27,000 PPEs, which includes gloves, masks and other equipment required to conduct tests and attend infected patients.

The nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25 for three weeks ending April 14. While the deadline is just over a week away, many states have started deliberating over the future course of action. Some of the states are waiting to see a decline in a new number of cases but a few of them like Rajasthan, Maharashtra and UP have started speaking to stakeholders to prepare a plan for post April 15.

Rajasthan has set up a task force to come up with a plan to phase-wise opening of lockdown. Maharashtra is also talking about phase-wise opening of the lockdown. However, its number of cases are going north every day. The Central government has so far maintained that it will review the situation and then decide.

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