Mamata Banerjee misreporting Covid-19 cases in West Bengal, suppressing data: BJP

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Published: April 29, 2020 3:58 PM

Coronavirus in Bengal: In a four-page letter to Mamata Banerjee, BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya asked the Bengal CM to "stop suppressing data, test more, end appeasement politics and save West Bengal".

West Bengal has so far reported 722 positive cases and 22 deaths due to coronavirus. (PTI)

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday accused West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee of fudging the numbers of deaths due to COVID-19. It said Mamata Banerjee was neither testing enough nor reporting the real numbers of deaths on account of Coronavirus in West Bengal. In a four-page letter to Mamata Banerjee, BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya asked the Bengal CM to “stop suppressing data, test more, end appeasement politics and save West Bengal”. He said that the testing for coronavirus had been grossly and shamefully inadequate in West Bengal.

Citing numbers from other states, the BJP leader said that West Bengal has a very high infectivity rate but the total numbers were less because of inadequate testing. According to the letter, Maharashtra till a day ago had conducted more than 1 lakh tests and recorded more than 7000 cases with 7 per cent infectivity rate, Madhya Pradesh had conducted more than 38,000 tests and recorded 5.6 per cent infectivity rate, Karnataka had conducted more than 43,000 tests and found 503 positive cases or just 1.17 per cent infectivity rate, Andhra Pradesh conducted more than 68,000 tests and recorded just 1.61 per cent infectivity rate.

“In comparison, till April 27, West Bengal had conducted just 12,043 tests. These tests detected 697 positive cases or an infectivity rate of 5.79 per cent. This comparative data shows that West Bengal has a very high infectivity rate and is not conducting adequate number of tests. If more tests were conducted surely there would be more positive cases in the state,” Kailash Vijayvargiya said.

Addressing Mamata Banerjee, the BJP leader further writes: “Is human death statistics to you? The day when you announced 18 deaths in West Bengal, your officers admitted in front of the inter-ministerial central team sent by the Central government that the real number was 57.” He also alleged that Mamata was not cooperating with the central teams and not letting them work. “You are neither testing adequately nor releasing right data. This is why the ratio of deaths to total cases is high in West Bengal compared to other neighbouring states like Assam, Jharkhand and Odisha,” he states in the letter.

The Mamata Banerjee government has been under fire for allegedly misreporting the number of coronavirus cases in West Bengal. The controversy began after her government said that only a committee will decide the cause of deaths due to Covid-19. Reports emerged that many deaths that were related to corona were attributed to comorbidity. The central teams too had red flagged it and asked the state government to explain the methodology behind declaring Covid-19 deaths.

On Tuesday, BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta shared what he claimed was a government order — sent to four hospitals — which said that even Covid positive cases should have no such mention in the death certificate. “Absolutely scandalous. This official circular in Murshidabad (W Bengal) clearly states that Covid19 positive should not be mentioned in the death certificate. Will fudging the figures alter the grim reality of a callous state government?” he said in a tweet.

West Bengal has so far reported 722 positive cases and 22 deaths due to coronavirus.

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