‘No support, no security given’: Covid-19 team in Bengal spotlights struggle
Lack of support, information about a field visit just half an hour before it, no response to its letters were some of the complaints of the Centre’s Covid-19 inspection team visiting West Bengal.
In a letter to Bengal chief secretary and the union home secretary, the Inter Ministerial Central Team (IMCT), led by Aruva Chandra, bemoaned that there was lack of cooperation from the state government.
The team said that it has been in Kolkata since April 20 and has written four letter but none have been answered.
“The north Bengal team had gone to Kalimpong this morning on their own after informing the state secretary. They are returning now without visiting hospital or meeting DM/CMO as they refused to meet the team,” said Chandra.
The team alleged that the state government is violating the order of the Centre by not assisting them.
“The chief secretary of West Bengal has been widely reported in media of having said in the daily press conference that the IMCT is free to visit anywhere and senior officers of the government cannot waste time accompanying the IMCT. It above stand is in violation of the order of the ministry of home affairs,” said Chandra in his letter.
The team reminded the state government that the state government is expected to provide “accommodation, transportation, PPE and extend all cooperation for their visits to local areas, production of records as requested”, according to the MHA order.
It also sought to know from the state government if it will take responsibility for safety and security of the IMCT if it ventures out on its own.
“Whether the BSF accompanying the IMCT on behalf of the government free to take action to ensure safety and security of the IMCT in absence of police support,” the letter asked.
It further alleged that no senior state official accompanies them on visits and their only expectation is that doctors and officers at the venue should meet and provide information to the team.
“Whether it is a fact that a DCP of Bengal police informed Bengal officers at BSF guest house on April 21 that the IMCT cannot leave the campus without permission of the state government as lockdown is in force and if it leaves it is only permitted to go to the airport,” the team wanted to know if there is truth to this statement.
It also sought to know if a PPP will be provided to the IMCT if it decided to visit a hospital on its own.
“The stand of the state in facilitating the visits of the IMCT and ensuring the safety of members as also providing information and records may be made clear through a written communication rather than through media so that further steps can be taken,” said the team.