KOLKATA: TWENTY five persons have died and more than 2000 have tested positive for dengue in West Bengal as on September 5. Thousands are rushing into hospitals with symptoms and even private hospitals have run out of space to accomodate the patients. With this near epidemic continuing for over 25 days now, the TMC government in West Bengal is yet again in the mood of denial. The chief minister and her colleagues have termed the outbreak of this deadly disease as mere ‘propaganda’.
Faced with umpteen criticism over “failing” to tackle the dengue outbreak in the state and Kolkata in particular, Mamata Banerjee responded with a pat on her own back. She said her government’s performance in tackling the disease was much better than most southern states of the country where dengue deaths have been reported.
When asked about the toll, the chief minister said that she was quoting the number of dengue deaths reported from government hospitals and not the private clinics. “A false propaganda is on about the dengue situation (in the state). I am requesting each and everyone not to create panic. Death due to cardiac arrest is being portrayed as dengue death. This is not expected. Proper diagnosis and tests have to be conducted before declaring a person as a dengue victim,” she said.
With such comments on doctors, the chief minister has kicked off yet another controversy. Doctors have strongly reacted against this and asked the chief minister to let the doctors diagnose and treat.
Earlier, a minister Firhad Hackim has categorised the outbreak of dengue as ‘natural phenomenon’.
“The state government is suppressing the death figure, which is 23. Over 2,000 people are suffering from dengue. It is an epidemic,” said leader of opposition in the assembly, Surjyakanta Mishra. “The panicky government is now urging people not to get panicked,” he added.
State Congress chief Pradip Bhattacharjee also accused the government of not providing the accurate data. “We do not want politics over dengue situation,” he said.
In reality, there is a miserable failure on the part of state health department and TMC-run Kolkata Corporation to act. The city of Kolkata and adjoining areas witnessed stoppage of cleaning drives, clinics were over-crowded and there is dearth of staff everywhere. (INN)