16/06/2020 11:08 AM IST

Coronavirus In West Bengal: Active Cases Reduce For Second Day In A Row; Mamata Not On List Of Speakers In Modi Meet

Opposition CPI(M) and Congress also questioned the Modi government on why Mamata Banerjee will not be allowed to speak in the meeting.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in a file photo. 

The number of active coronavirus cases in West Bengal dropped for second day in a row with 407 people testing positive for the disease in the state on Monday. 

The bulletin by the state government said that 10 more people died of the disease. 

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a video conference with the chief ministers today, Mamata Banerjee isn’t on the list of those who will speak. This has created a row in Bengal with even opposition parties questioning the government. 

The state questioned the Union aviation ministry after two Bengal residents, who had tested positive for Covid-19, returned from Chennai on a flight. 

5,515 active cases

The number of active cases in West Bengal reduced from 5,693 on Saturday to 5,552 on Sunday and further reduced to 5,515 on Monday. 

The death toll in the state rose to 485 and the total number of cases reported from the state rose to 11,494. 

The state bulletin said that a total of 5,494 people had been discharged. 

West Bengal has so far carried out 3,43,242 tests for Covid-19. 

On the number of active cases reducing, a Bengal minister who was not named, told The Telegraph, “Over the past couple of days, North 24-Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, Cooch Behar and Calcutta contributed in large numbers to the recoveries. Between them, the five districts had 831 recoveries these two days.” 

Mamata won’t speak in CM’s meeting 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting of chief ministers from across the country today, but reports say that West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee will not speak in the meeting. 

Modi has held several such meetings to discuss steps to cope with the pandemic in the country. 

Anandabazar Patrika reported that in light of Bengal not being in the list of states that will get the opportunity to ask questions, it was unlikely that Mamata Banerjee will attend. 

In the last such meeting held on May 11, Banerjee had accused the Centre of playing politics over the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Meanwhile, Opposition parties in the state have also questioned why Bengal will not be allowed to speak. 

The Anandabazar Patrika report said that both the CPI(M) and the Congress have raised questions about this. 

CPI(M) Sujan Chakraborty was quoted by the newspaper as saying, “It’s very unfortunate. There are several questions to be asked about the fight against coronavirus in West Bengal. Does this mean that the Centre is not bothered about what is happening in Bengal? Or do they not want to hear opinions other than their own?”

Congress leader Somen Mitra too criticised the move. 

Bengal questions aviation ministry

After two West Bengal residents returned from Chennai on a flight, West Bengal transport minister Subhendu Adhikari on Monday questioned the Union civil aviation ministry on the screening facilities at airports. 

“The two persons were tested on June 12 in a laboratory in Chennai. The reports came positive the next day. They boarded a flight on June 14. How could they skip medical surveillance at the airport? Why were not they admitted to a hospital in Chennai immediately after their reports came positive? They travelled all the way from Chennai in the flight, just imagine how many people got infected during the journey,” Adhikari was quoted by PTI as saying. 

PTI reported that the two people landed in Kolkata on Sunday and visited a dedicated COVID-19 hospital in their home district of East Midnapore on Monday with their test reports for admission.

When contacted, a Kolkata airport official said that heath screening at the terminal was being done by officials of the state health department.

(With PTI inputs)

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