India

37 Covid-19 cases, three deaths in Bengal, says Mamata

Kolkata, April 1 (IANS) A total of 37 people in West Bengal have contracted the Covid-19 disease, of whom three have died, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday.

“The total number of positive cases is 37. Of them, three have died. Three others have fully recovered, and released from hospital,” she said.

Unofficial sources, however, put the death toll at 6, but Banerjee said the government did not have any such information.

Lashing out at the media for claiming that the death toll was soaring in the state, she said one of the deceased had pneumonia while the other had kidney failure.

“Some nursing homes, just to gain publicity, are claiming that their patients have coronavirus. The media should crosscheck with the government. You may fight with me throughout the year, call me bad. But this is a time of disaster. So don't play with fire.

Your reports may create panic in the society. So please don't do all this to raise your TRP,” the Chief Minister said.

Banerjee also said 17 of those afflicted with the disease belong to four families.

“One army doctor at Command Hospital has got the infection. A total four members of this family are infected now. In Nadia district's Tehatta, five people from one family are down with the virus.

“In East Midnapore district's Egra, three persons have been detected with the virus after mixing with foreign returnees. Again, a woman from Kalimpong died due to the infection. She had gone to Chennai. Now, four members of her family are affected,” she said.

Amidst reports of people chatting or playing on the road, and crowding the markets in the districts, Banerjee urged the masses to observe a complete lockdown.

“The next two weeks are very important. Everybody should cooperate so that we don't reach the third stage – community spread of the disease. Then things will go out of our hands. Soe we need to take precaution. The centre has declared a clockdown till April 15. Please make it completely successful. Let us all follow the rules,” she said.

“Please remain in home quarantine.. 99 per cent of cases can be cured at home if you follow the protocol. Essential things are available in market. But that does not mean one hundred people will queue up.

“Seven people are allowed to queue. But they must maintain social distance,” she said.

Banerjee also came down heavily on the media for highlighting shortage of masks and sanitiisers and personal protective equipment given to health workers.

“Some people are giving statements that they are not getting masks and PPEs. Has the centre given even one? We are handling an entirely new situation. We are having to produce these things,” she said.

Banerjee said till Sunday, her government has distributed 1,11,394 PPEs, 42,296 N95 masks, 1,60,000 second layer masks and 18,363 litre sanitisers to various hospitals.

Altogether, 3,200 thermal guns have also been distributed.

Banerjee was also critical of the media for carrying out reports about shortages in the market.

“Well, you can have rice and boiled vegetable at least. Even that is a luxury now in various states. Even salaries have not been paid in some states. In some states, employees have been paid half of their salaries. The situation is so serious. But in our state, we have paid the full salary on time,” she said.

–IANS

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