Leaving their political differences aside, political leaders in West Bengal have united in their fight against COVID-19 and have been working in tandem to contain the pandemic. The political scenario in Siliguri is no different at this moment of crisis.

Two veteran politicians from two opposite camps are playing vital roles in activating the machineries in an effort to ensure a good support system to contain Covid-19 in and around Siliguri. While one is overseeing preparedness, uplifting thereby the morale of health service providers, another senior leader is giving a boost to the civic machinery to overcome the crisis.

State tourism minister and Trinamul Congress leader Gautam Deb is monitoring the situation of Siliguri on a daily basis by visiting the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) and the Siliguri District Hospital.

“The minister has been handing over masks and sanitizers, and enquiring whether the facility had enough stock of personal protective equipment, masks, gloves, sanitizer and also about the status of the infrastructure in isolation wards, and implementation of policies,” a doctor at the NBMCH said.

Mr Deb is also holding several meetings with the Darjeeling district administration, senior health officials of the district, and the Siliguri branch of the Indian Medical Association to take stock of the situation.

“The minister is playing a proactive role in dealing with the situation. He is assuring us that there will be no dearth of PPE, masks and gloves, and that the government is ready to extend whatever help we need. He is regularly holding meetings with doctors and nursing staff and assessing the preparedness level,” another senior doctor at the NBMCH said.

North Bengal has already recorded one death due to Covid-19, although the death of another person of Siliguri has not been confirmed by the government. “We are passing through a grave crisis. The state government is trying its level best by taking several steps to prevent the spread of the virus. We shall overcome,” Mr Deb said.