West Bengal Doctor’s Forum (WBDF) have expressed concern seeing the rallies and public meetings organised by various political parties across the state during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Calling these events as “suicidal” and “unhealthy”, the forum has drawn attention of the parties and said that none of their events followed the basic and mandatory protocol of social distancing to avoid the contamination of COVID-19.
Warning the parties of the grave consequences resulting from their rallies and meetings, the WBDF has urged them to adhere to the health guidelines issued by the government.
It has further asked them to ensure that the participants in their rallies wear masks and maintain physical distancing.
Admitted the need for political movements in a healthy democracy, members of WBDF said, “Everyday one party or another is holding a rally and public meeti. In most of the cases, masks and social distancing were missing. Witnessing this suicidal and unhealthy activities, we as a doctor’s organisation are concerned.”
“We have almost exhausted our resources of doctors, health workers, hospital beds and other infrastructures. If COVID-19 cases increase further, it’ll be truly impossible to tackle the pandemic. We know there’s an election next year. We request the political parties to hold their events adhering to the COVID-19 protocols,” the WBDF said in a statement.
Since the novel coronavirus spreads faster in any kind of mass gathering, the forum believed that any unconstrained public meetings could turn into a genocide if proper guidelines are not followed. The forum asked the parties to save lives instead of pushing them to danger.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus curve in West Bengal is yet to flatten whatsoever with the state witnessing new records of daily cases everyday for the last one week or so.
West Bengal on Friday witnessed the biggest single-day spike of 3,771 COVID-19 cases, taking to the total number of cases to 3,13,188. The number of active cases are also on the rise with 32,500 coronavirus patients currently undergoing treatment, an increase from Thursday’s 31,984. To add salt to the injury, discharge rate has also dropped to 87.73%.
A total of 61 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours till the latest West Bengal Health Department bulletin came out on Friday. Kolkata recorded 13 deaths, while North 24 Parganas and Howrah witnessed 19 and five deaths respectively. The state has so far seen 5,931 coronavirus-related deaths.
The sudden spike in COVID-19 cases can be linked directly to the low testing in West Bengal. After a steady increase in the number of daily testing – both rapid antigen and RT-PCR tests – throughout the month of July, August and the first few weeks if September, the state has kept the bar of daily testing at around 42-43 thousands for the last 3-4 weeks.