Political row in Bengal over COVID-19 testing,
Amid the continuing nationwide struggle in opposition to the coronavirus pandemic, a significant political row has erupted in West Bengal over the “insufficient” variety of checks allegedly being performed by the Mamata Banerjee-led authorities.
With these within the medical fraternity elevating comparable considerations over the state’s “hush-hush” method, opposition events are actually accusing the federal government of doing little to stem the rise of the COVID-19 cases, a charged denied by the ruling Trinamool Congress.
On Saturday, the Bengal authorities stated that the variety of these contaminated stood at 233, whereas the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare web site put the tally at 287.
“If you undergo state-wise knowledge of huge states, you will see that the variety of checks performed right here is way lower than elsewhere.
Despite the Centre offering testing kits in abundance, for causes finest identified to the state authorities, they’re conducting fewer checks,” West Bengal BJP president and MP Dilip Ghosh was quoted as saying by information company PTI.
However, senior TMC chief Derek O’Brien claimed Bengal’s tally is healthier than most states.
“We in Bengal are focused on the task at hand. We are carrying on with our work. It is this that has ensured Bengal’s COVID-19 numbers are better than most. We have worked hard, been first movers and prepared early to keep these numbers low,” he advised PTI.
“The rumors and mischief have to be responded to – with facts, figures and public health logic. We are fighting coronavirus. The opposition parties in Bengal are fighting Trinamool! Putting politics before a health emergency is a shame,” he added.
Recently, the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), ICMR’s nodal COVID-19 testing facility in Kolkata, had identified that the state authorities aren’t sending sufficient samples for checks.
Besides, the formation of a professional audit committee to certify whether or not the deaths have occurred as a result of a virus or different underlying illnesses, referred to as comorbidity in medical parlance, as an alternative of by the docs who handled them, has led to rising skepticism in regards to the reliability of the state authorities knowledge.
Director of the NICED-ICMR Shanta Dutta had questioned the state determined to arrange a committee to certify COVID-19 deaths. Dutta stated it was the treating doctor who ought to resolve whether or not an affected person with coronavirus had died as a result of it.
“Members of the audit committee are up to date by attending physicians on the situation of an affected person. Hence, the attending doctor is the perfect decision to resolve the elements accountable for a dying.
Moreover, any dying in a COVID-19 case happens as a result of cardio-respiratory failure, no matter co-morbid situations or infections. Therefore, for counting deaths of COVID-19 sufferers, one ought to depend on the treating doctor and never a committee,” he stated.
Reacting to this, Ghosh stated the state authorities have made a “mockery” of dying figures by referring the matter of deceased sufferers to an audit committee.
Union minister Babul Supriyo additionally upped the ante in opposition to the state authorities and stated solely the docs treating the deceased ought to certify the explanation for the dying.
“After all, everybody ultimately dies of heart failure…..multi-organ failure,” he stated, including there was an try to “hide” the COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
Speaking on comparable traces, the chief of the Congress occasion within the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, stated the demarcation of coronavirus and non-coronavirus deaths is a “mechanism to hide facts”. He additionally referred to as the panel a “truth suppressing mechanism”.
A couple of senior medical professionals within the metropolis additionally stated the federal government should resort to aggressive testing to deal with the pandemic successfully.
The variety of checks needs to be elevated instantly with a purpose to estimate the unfold of the contagion. As most sufferers or suspects are asymptomatic, we have to have extra pattern testing, a senior doctor advised the information company.
However, Chief Secretary Rajiv Sinha stated the state has its personal limitations because it can’t begin testing in any laboratory as a result of solely the services approved by the ICMR can conduct the coronavirus check.
“In terms of testing, we have a limitation as we all know that the approval comes from ICMR. We got permission for the Malda unit only a few days back,” he stated.
Permission has been sought to conduct the check on the medical faculty in Murshidabad, RG Kar Medical College and hospital, Kolkata, Burdwan Medical College, and Bankura Medical College, he added.
The state presently has eight ICMR-certified labs together with NICED and the state-run SSKM hospital the place COVID checks might be performed.
Responding to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s criticism in regards to the paucity of testing kits, Dutta stated ICMR has dispatched 42,500 kits to NICED to date and that there isn’t a scarcity.
According to the state’s chief secretary Rajiva Sinha, a complete of 4,630 samples have been examined by Saturday and West Bengal is now conducting over 400 checks day by day.
The variety of COVID-19 optimistic cases given out by the state and the Centre are additionally at variance with one another.