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BJP leader from Indore alleges ‘glaring discrepancies’ in Bengal’s COVID-19 bulletin

The government is coming out with a much detailed bulletin since Monday, but the data it is providing to people still have a lot of discrepancies, Vijayvargiya said.

SNS | New Delhi |

Amid allegations that the West Bengal government was not revealing the true COVID-19 picture, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and leader from Indore wrote to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday, claiming that “glaring discrepancies” exist in the Health Department’s bulletin.

The BJP leader indicated that the state government was still making attempts to hide the real picture despite criticism from all quarters. Vijayvargiya’s letter to Banerjee came a day after the IMCT wrote to Chief Secretary Rijiva Sinha that the state had the highest mortality rate in the country at 12.8 per cent and the “extremely high mortality rate is a clear indication of low testing, weak surveillance and tracking”.

The government is coming out with a much detailed bulletin since Monday, but the data it is providing to people still have a lot of discrepancies, Vijayvargiya said.

“There are several unanswered questions on how the State Government is handling the COVID pandemic,” the BJP’s Bengal minder wrote to Banerjee. “But I hope, in the interim, you will take note of the above observations and ensure these discrepancies are addressed at the earliest.”

“The government of West Bengal can’t give an impression of being callous when dealing with a sensitive issue involving lives of crores of people,” the BJP leader said.

The COVID-19 bulletin of Monday has “some glaring discrepancies,” Vijayvargiya said, expressing hope that the administration would be more transparent in order to reassure the people that “they are committed to do whatever it takes to protect the citizens”.

Claiming that there was no mention of the number of people who were “deprived” of COVID-19 tests and were “clandestinely buried/cremated as per COVID-19 protocols”, the BJP leader said figures of the total number of COVID deaths was still missing.

“Instead, two separate columns mentioning patients who died due to COVID and patients who died due to comorbidities were given. ICMR/WHO-ICD guidelines require COVID to be mentioned as a reason for all patients, who were COVID positive and died,” the letter read.

Eleven people died due to COVID-19 in West Bengal in the last 24 hours, taking to 61 the total number of people to have succumbed to the disease, the state government had said on Monday. Later, in an absolutely changed format of the health bulletin, it said there were 72 coronavirus deaths due to comorbidities.

Meanhwhile, number of cases in BJP leader’s home state Madhya Pradesh  crossed 3,000 with 107 new infections being reported, government data showed. The statewide tally rose to 3,049. Indore reported 43 new coronavirus cases that surfaced in the past 24 hours, taking the city’s tally to 1,654, or 54% of MP’s total. Indore with 79 COVID-19 deaths, accounts for 44.84% of the state’s fatalities.

A report by Hindustan Times says, Among states that have reported more than 100 COVID-19 deaths, Madhya Pradesh has the second highest fatality rate in the country, trailing only West Bengal. MP’s fatality rate, with 176 deaths, is 5.77% compared to West Bengal’s 10.56%.