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Bengal will work with Centre to implement Corona vaccination programme: Mamata

Bengal will work with Centre to implement Corona vaccination programme: Mamata
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Bankura: The COVID-19 situation in Bengal is being addressed aptly, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a video conference on Tuesday, stating that Covid positivity rate and the death rate have reduced while the recovery rate has increased. She informed the Prime Minister that "the state is fully prepared with trained manpower and required infrastructure (including cold chain)" to ensure speedy and universal Corona vaccination for everyone as soon as the vaccine becomes available and her government will work with the Centre and other stakeholders for speedy implementation of the vaccination programme in the state.

In the same breath, she raised the issue of no adequate fund by the Centre to the state to fight the pandemic situation. She said: "The state has already spent around Rs 4,000 crore only on account of Covid management but till now the government of India has released only Rs 193 crore". She also said that the GST compensation for Bengal has accumulated to a tune of Rs 8,500 crore till date.

She also raised her concern over "political gamesmanship and competitive rallies" in terms of the spread of Covid infection.

Banerjee on Tuesday interacted with the Prime Minister through video conference along with her counterparts from eight other states from Bankura from 10.30 am. Other senior Union ministers including Home Minister Amit Shah were also present in the meeting from Delhi.

"The entire nation is now looking forward to an early vaccination programme where the Government of Bengal is ready to join with the government of India and all stakeholders for a comprehensive battle against the pandemic. We want to ensure speedy and universal vaccination for everyone as soon as the vaccine is available", Banerjee said after assuring that Bengal is fully prepared with trained manpower and required infrastructure (including cold chain) for the vaccination programme.

Negating all claims that the Covid situation in Bengal is alarming, the Chief Minister, informed the Prime Minister that "despite the onset of festivities in the Durga Puja, Kali Puja and Chhath Puja season, and despite the recommencement of the massive suburban train services, Bengal has been successful in actually reducing the positivity rate and the death rate and in improving the discharge rate".

She further stressed in this connection that Bengal has been performing remarkably well in Covid management compared to that of similar metropolitan regions in the country. This comes when Bengal is a state that shares international borders with multiple countries and also carrying the cosmopolitan heritage of bearing the burden of patients from the neighbouring states.

She lauded the role played by ASHA workers in visiting households as part of the public health campaign and mentioned about the Covid cases that get complicated due to existence of co-morbidities, Banerjee stated about "the valiant fight" of the covid warriors including Asha workers who visited 2.5 crore households for 45 crore times to identify people suffering from Sari and ILI.

Taking a cue from her Maharashtra counterpart Udhav Thackeray, Banerjee urged the Prime Minister that "political gamesmanship, competitive rallies and public health hazards must be averted in the society in the greater public interest".

She also said that the Centre is not yet releasing adequate funds in favour of the states.

It may be mentioned that Banerjee had said on Monday that the state needs to bear an expense of Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh for treatment of each Covid patient. At the same time, 200 safe homes with 11,507 beds are being run and free-of-cost treatment is provided at 101 hospitals including 57 private ones.

With such a massive infrastructure that the state runs to provide health services to fight against Covid, the Bengal government has already spent around Rs 4,000 crore when the Centre has so far only released only Rs 193 crore.

She further said: "As far as Bengal is concerned, the dues on account of Goods and Service Tax compensation to the tune of Rs 8,500 crore have accumulated; on the other hand, expenses on every account are increasing."

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