Faced with umpteen crticisms over failing to tackle the dengue outbreak in the state and Kolkata in particular,Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday patted her own back saying her governments performance in tackling the disease was better than most south states of the country,where dengue deaths have been reported.
Sticking to her Mondays figure of three dengue deaths and 638 people affected by the disease in West Bengal,the Chief Minister said: In Kerala,dengue has claimed nine lives while 17 died of dengue in Karnataka. In Tamil Nadu,4,675 people have been afflicted with the disease.
When asked that unofficial toll figure has risen to 10,Mamata said she was quoting the numbers 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.
In an indirect attack on the CPM,which has accused the government of hiding the actual death number,she said: In 2005 (when Left Front was in power),dengue had claimed 34 lives in West Bengal while 6,273 people were affected by it, she added.
Every death is unfortunate and every life is precious. The disease broke out because of irregular rainfall and accumulation of water, the CM said as she enlisted new steps taken by the government to rein in the outbreak.
Keep government clinics open beyond the official time and purchase of medical kits for faster detection of dengue are some of the steps taken by the government. Sophisticated medical kits have been brought for faster detection of dengue,she said adding,We cant allow the situation to turn serious.
The CMs remark,however,failed to impress Opposition CPM as well as ally,the Congress party,as both reiterated their previous stand that the government was hiding the facts from the people.
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 the Opposition in the Assembly,Surya Kanta Mishra. The panicky government it is now urging people not to get panicked, Mishra added.
State Congress chief Pradip Bhattacharjee also accused the government of not providing the accurate data. We do not want politics over dengue situation, Bhattacharjee said.