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Bengal: Murshidabad medical college chief removed after Covid-19 death certificate order row

“This official circular in Murshidabad clearly states that Covid19 positive should not be mentioned in the death certificate. Will fudging the figures alter the grim reality of a callous state government?” a BJP leader tweeted.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
Updated: May 1, 2020 3:23:25 pm
coronavirus, west bengal coronavirus, bengal govt coronavirus deaths, bengal govt coronavirus cases, Murshidabad coronavirus A man sanitises his hand before collecting foodgrains, which was being distributed by the Kolkata Police, on Strand Road on Thursday. (Express photo/Partha Paul)

Days after medical superintendent of Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital, Debdas Saha, issued an order asking doctors not to mention COVID-19 in the death certificate of coronavirus patients, the Bengal government Thursday removed him. In the April 25 order, Saha directed, “in case of COVID positive, no mention of COVID D/C (death certificate)”. A day later, a rectified order was issued asking doctors to state the actual cause of death of patients.

The order had triggered a political controversy in the state with BJP’s nominated RS member Swapan Dasgupta calling it “absolutely scandalous”. “This official circular in Murshidabad clearly states that Covid19 positive should not be mentioned in the death certificate. Will fudging the figures alter the grim reality of a callous state government?” he had tweeted.

On Wednesday, CM Mamata Banerjee referred to the order and said, “People are raising a hue and cry over who is issuing what kind of order. We have to correct ourselves because we make mistakes.” The government Thursday transferred Saha to North Bengal Medical College and Hospital where he will serve as a professor at anaesthesiology department. In his place, the government has appointed Dr Sharmila Mallick as the new medical superintendent of Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital.

Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha said, “The state chief secretary is not the right person to speak on this..”

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