By Joymala Bagchi
New Delhi [India], May 5 (ANI): The All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday said that out of 20 central teams, the deployment of only one team in West Bengal shows that "Bengal perhaps along with Kerala is a model in handling COVID-19."
Addressing media through video conference, Derek O Brien, Sudip Bandhopadhyay, and Dinesh Trivedi on Monday elaborated on how the government of West Bengal is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and addressing the issues related to migrant workers.
"It is a model in terms of preparation we undertook. The isolation centres we set up for 80,000 people and many other proactive measures were taken. It is another matter that nobody paid heed to all our warnings," said Derek O'Brien, TMC party spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member in the video press conference.
"West Bengal along with Telangana and Tamil Nadu has only one team which confirms what we have been saying all along that the situation in Bengal is going well under Mamata Banerjee's government because we took early precautions in March," added O'Brien.
In a measure, 20 Central Public Health Teams from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have been formed and are being sent to the 20 districts that are reporting the maximum number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
These teams will support the States in the implementation of containment measures for COVID-19 in the affected areas within these districts or cities. The teams shall assist the State governments.
While Three teams will be sent to Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat, two teams have been deployed for Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. Telangana, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have one team each. Each team consists of two members and will assist the respective state governments.
Drawing reference to H1N1 in 2009 as almost a similar situation, when the UPA government was in power they 'bravely faced it without disruption' said Dinesh Trivedi, TMC Rajya Sabha MP.
Trivedi, while speaking on the issue of migrant labourers, said: "The lockdown should have properly planned for the problem of migrant labourers. What we are seeing today would have never arisen. The railway could have planned taking advantage of technology, logistics and infrastructure."
Earlier today on their completion of 14 days visit to West Bengal, Apurva Chandra, Additional Secretary, MoD and IMCT team leader, wrote to West Bengal Chief Secretary, stating that "State needs to be transparent and consistent in reporting figures and not play down the spread of the virus."
Another IMCT leader Vineet Joshi for Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, and Kalimpong stated that as per the primary observation, 'improvement is needed.'
With 61 new cases reported today in West Bengal, the total number of COVID-19 cases rises to 1,259 with 61 deaths and 218 have been discharged.
With 2,573 new cases and 83 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, the total number of positive cases in India rises to 42,836 including 29,685 active cases, 11762 cured/discharged/migrated and 1389 deaths.
The report by IMCTs will be submitted directly to the Centre. (ANI)