West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday denied there was a spike in dengue deaths in the state and claimed that erroneous blood test reports issued by private laboratories were creating panic. The disease had claimed 24 lives since January, she said, rubbishing media reports that said dengue was rampant in the state. “There are reports that several people are down with dengue and several have died because of the disease. But this is incorrect,” Banerjee said.
The chief minister said private laboratories were providing wrong figures of dengue-infected people, triggering panic in the state. “According to our records, there were only 24 deaths due to dengue in West Bengal since January. Recently, 14 people died of dengue, and the other deaths were reported in the last 7-8 months,” Banerjee said.
The government would take strict action against the laboratories which had issued wrong test reports, she said. There was no scarcity of platelets in the state, Banerjee said.
The chief minister also said 72 cases of chikungunya had been reported in the state since January. There were no fatalities, she said.
However, there were six deaths in the city of causes which were yet to be verified, she added. “This is that time of the year when people fall sick because of the changing season,” she said, asking people to take proper measures to keep their residences clean.
Banerjee urged people to go for blood tests if unwell. She alleged that central government offices and housings were not allowing local municipalities to clean areas where garbage was dumped.
At a high-level meeting, the chief minister directed senior officials to keep vigil on the situation in the districts and create awareness programmes for people in the urban areas of the state.