Lockdown crucial but common man's problems hard-hitting: CM
Kolkata: Not ruling out the possibility of an extension of the lockdown to check the spread of COVID-19, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stated that even if it is done it is important to consider the difficulties faced by the common man in the wake of this outbreak.
Banerjee said: "We can clarify our stand on the lockdown only after a discussion with the Centre. I would like to add that even if the lockdown is extended, it must be viewed from a humane approach. We have to have empathy towards those who have been badly hit. Side by side, fighting COVID-19 is also a major issue. We have to ensure proper treatment facilities for the people of the state if lockdown is extended. Security aspect will also be taken into consideration."
She also added: "We must take strict measures but it should not end in high-handedness. However, we have to wait and watch what the Centre decides in this connection."
On the other hand, TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyay said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during an all-party meeting on Wednesday, had dropped enough hints of extending the lockdown as experts and several states are in favour of it.
The Chief Minister said she has come across certain facts (she did not crosscheck its authenticity), which mentions that it would be good if people can follow the precautionary measures properly till May 19, that is for 49 days from the first day of lockdown despite hardship.
This comes when as many as 71 people in the state are suffering from COVID-19, including two who tested positive on Wednesday. Sixty one members of the 71 are from 11 families. "It shows that the disease is spreading more among members of one family. We must take precautionary measures accordingly," Banerjee said adding that 30 doctors, five nurses and four technicians of MR Bangur Hospital have tested negative.
Stating that 82 beds have been increased at Beliaghata ID Hospital, the Chief Minister said: "Three people were released from the hospital today as they tested negative. Two more also tested negative and they will be released soon. So at present, there are 11 COVID-19 positive patients at Beliaghat ID Hospital."
In a bid to ensure a better treatment at North Bengal, head of the gastro department of SSKM Hospital Dr GK Dhali will be visiting North Bengal Medical College and Hospital along with Dr Abhijit Chowdhury.
Stating that the state government has ensured sufficient supply of essential commodities, Banerjee said: "The state government will hold a meeting with authorities of various industries including MSME, hotel and Chambers of Commerce at Nabanna Sabhaghar on Thursday.
She also announced setting up of three task forces — Restriction and relaxation task force headed by Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha, task force on financial issues headed by Finance Secretary H K Dwivedi and Enforcement task force headed by Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay.
While speaking about a religious event at Delhi, Banerjee said as many as 177 people attending it have been quarantined in the state. It includes 69 from Bengal and 108 from different countries including Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar.
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