West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that 60 persons have died of dengue and swine flu in the state this year but claimed the situation was not serious enough to trigger panic.
Among the 40 dengue deaths, 13 patients who perished in state-run hospitals were confirmed cases. The government was cross-checking reports of 27 others suspected to have died of the disease in private health facilities, the Chief Minister said.
“In Bengal, 13 dengue deaths have been confirmed. We have also received 27 cases from private hospitals, though cross-checking is on. We are examining the deceased’s medical and pathological reports. Another 20 people died of swine flu,” Banerjee told reporters at the state Secretariat Nabanna.
“I am still saying there is nothing to panic. Patchy weather and irregular rainfall have triggered the outbreak of many vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue, and swine flu throughout the country this year. Our government is doing its best to control the diseases,” she claimed.
Taking a swipe at the Bharatiya Janata Party for holding her Trinamool Congress government responsible for the dengue outbreak in Bengal, Banerjee said the number of deaths due to such diseases are much higher in BJP-ruled states.
“The BJP should first worry about the states ruled by the party. The toll is very high in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Assam. How will we survive if the northeastern states and other neighbouring states face problems? We are surrounded by them,” she said.
“There are some political parties which do not have any work, apart from playing a negative role. We were in the opposition but we never did dirty politics on these issues,” the Trinamool supremo said.
Banerjee alleged that some corporate houses in the state have ganged up against her government and were spreading misinformation about the number of dengue cases to create panic in public.
Claiming that her government was taking steps to control the disease, the Chief Minister said municipalities and panchayats in most vulnerable areas have been instructed to coordinate with the Heath Department and take steps to get rid of mosquitoes.
“We have asked the Indian Medical Association to increase the number of camps in dengue-affected pockets in the state. The Health Department will ould look into these issues,” she added.