A political tussle between BJP and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee broke out after the former alleged foul play in the reported number of deaths in the state which fell from seven to three.
BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya accused Banerjee of fudging COVID-19 cases numbers.
“A political party’s IT cell is using fake news to malign West Bengal’s health department. Our doctors and health staff are doing their best to fight the disease. This is not the time for petty politics. We never pointed at the lacunas of the central government in dealing with the crisis,” West Bengal CM was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
“They may be more interested in politics by clanging utensils and bursting crackers, but we are not,” she added.
In a series of tweets, Malviya levelled allegations against the CM by saying that hospital administrations across the states are under pressure from her to not report the deaths linked to the virus
“Hospital administrations across Bengal are under pressure from Mamata Banerjee, who is also the Health Minister, to underplay COVID-related cases by discouraging tests and thwarting doctors from writing coronavirus as a reason for deaths, despite positive reports, in death certificates,” he tweeted.
“What is Mamata Banerjee hiding? No medical bulletin from the Bengal government on 2nd, 3rd and 5th April. Curiously the number of COVID-related deaths missing in the bulletin released on the 4th,” he added.
What is Mamata Banerjee hiding?
No medical bulletin from the Bengal government on 2nd, 3rd and 5th Apr. Curiously number of Covid related deaths missing in the bulletin released on 4th..
Read this along with Mamata admin’s diktat on a Committee deciding reason for Covid deaths. pic.twitter.com/meUXzWVNIz
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) April 6, 2020
However, as reported by NDTV, a health task force set up by the Bengal government itself said at a press meet that four people had died in the previous 24 hours because of COVID-19, and the number of deaths had gone up to seven.
Shortly afterwards the state chief secretary addressed a press meet and said the number of deaths from COVID-19 was still 3. Four others who had died had reportedly tested COVID-19 positive but they had comorbidities and the cause of death was being investigated, he had said.
The central government update puts the number of deaths in Bengal at 3.