The centre has put an finish to an argument over West Bengal’s coronavirus numbers. Even final night, Bengal claimed 61 sufferers had died of the virus within the state and 72 different deaths linked to COVID-19 have been of sufferers who had co-morbidities or present well being issues.
However the Union Well being Ministry refused to simply accept the excellence. It added the 2 figures — 61 and 72 — and listed 133 COVID-19 deaths in Bengal on its web site this morning.
The replace is on the idea of a revamped knowledge sheet uploaded by the Bengal well being division final night. For the primary time, it additionally had a listing of deaths as a result of co-morbidities.
This morning, Bengal house secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay, following the same old format, stated seven virus sufferers had died within the final 24 hours, bringing the variety of deaths to 68.
Had he used central knowledge, that up to date determine would have been 140.
On the centre itemizing 133 deaths in Bengal, Mr Bandopadhyay stated, “I haven’t got the centre and state knowledge with me so I can not say something. However we try our greatest to make sure truthful convergence. The chief secretary defined yesterday that every one figures have been extraordinarily scientifically converged in Bengal.”
The confusion deepened yesterday when two units of Bengal authorities knowledge got here into circulation.
The set shared by the state’s ruling Trinamool in New Delhi had 133 deaths with no point out of the co-morbidity deaths. However the state’s well being division web site stated there have been 61 deaths and, in tiny letters marked with an asterisk, referred to 72 co-morbidity deaths.
In response to sources, ballot strategist Prashant Kishor has a job within the state authorities’s makes an attempt to unravel the info mess, on the core of which is the controversial “loss of life audit committee” set as much as look at and declare the reason for loss of life. Critics allege the committee’s temporary was to fudge loss of life knowledge.
To begin with, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee utterly distanced herself from the committee, saying she had no thought about it or its members.
Bengal Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha first disclosed co-morbidity knowledge on April 24, when he stated the loss of life audit committee had studied 57 deaths and 18 of them have been due to coronavirus. Within the remaining 39, the reason for loss of life was comorbidities or pre-existing well being issues and COVID-19 “was incidental”.
This disclosure got here hours after the IMCT or Central group in Kolkata questioned the loss of life audit committee’s validity in a letter to the Chief Minister.
Six days later, after Mamata Banerjee disowned it, the chief secretary signaled the digital loss of life of the audit committee. “It is going to proceed,” he stated, however added it might not look at each coronavirus loss of life, solely random samples.
Not simply the central group and opposition events, even a bit of medical doctors had questioned the loss of life audit committee. They felt medical doctors have been totally able to deciding the reason for loss of life of COVID-19 constructive sufferers and there was no want for a special committee to look at it.
Sources stated anybody who says the loss of life toll in Bengal is 133 and never 61 is not going to be challenged anymore.
Mr Kishor’s intervention is essential as Mamata Banerjee faces meeting elections now precisely one yr away, the pandemic allowing. The Chief Minister, hemmed in by the centre’s allegations of mishandling the virus disaster, specifically sought him out for injury management.