Coronavirus in West Bengal: As cases rise, state ramps up medical infrastructure 

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in West Bengal rose by 112 on Wednesday with 4 deaths reported. This takes the total active cases to 1,047 and the death toll to 72. Comorbidity figures include another 72 which means death was due to other reasons and COVID-19 was incidental.

The total number of samples tested in the last 24 hours is 2,570 which the state claims is the highest in a single day.

The state has ramped up medical facilities to tackle the pandemic with 67 COVID-19 only hospitals in the state and a bed capacity of 8,036, 860 ICU beds and 271 ventilators. 30 ventilators are in use as of now.

Medical College in Kolkata will be the 68th COVID only hospital. There has been pressure on the state administration following the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) report of West Bengal having the highest mortality rate of 13.2%, despite the Audit Committee scrutinizing and segregating death cases into COVID-19 and comorbidity. The rate of testing is still relatively low in the state.  

The worry now is, that the return of migrant workers might result in a spike in COVID-19 cases. The West Bengal government will conduct swab tests for those coming back from Maharashtra.

“We will not stop anyone who will come into Bengal. All will be permitted in to the state. Those who are coming in from Maharashtra, we will conduct swab tests,” said West Bengal Home Secretary Alapan Bandhopadhyay.

Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandhopadhyay lashed out at the Narendra Modi led BJP government at the Centre on the state of migrant workers. “The migrant labourers issue should have been the topmost priority for the government, instead of tackling the issue in the third and last phase of the lockdown. They had lack of imagination, far sightedness and managerial efficiency regarding the lockdown. I feel this would not have come up had issued in Delhi and Mumbai not come up.” Said Sudip Bandhopadhyay who also questioned whether migrant workers will pay for the train fares while further shaming the BJP.

TMC leaders Derek Obrien and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar joined Bandhopadhyay while speaking about the migrant worker issue. Mamata Banerjee had earlier written to the Chief Ministers of 18 states asking them to take care of migrant workers in the initial phase of the nationwide lockdown, which was received by a positive response.

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