However, the state did not record any coronavirus-related death on Thursday. At least seven people have died of coronavirus. Although the state has maintained that only three people have died of COVID-19, the rest four, who had tested positive for the virus, passed away due to underlying medical conditions.
Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha said, “Out of the 53 patients, three have recovered and discharged from the hospital. Four patients died because of co-morbidity symptoms and their sample reports came after their death. Nine more people tested negative today.” He also said the total number of active cases was 34, hours after an official at a press conference put the figure to 53.
In the last 24 hours, 104 samples were collected, taking the total count to 767. According to the state Department of Health and Family Welfare, 133 reports have been received in the same period.
Opposition parties CPI(M) and BJP were quick to slam Banerjee for “trying to hide” the actual figures of COVID-19 deaths and active cases, and asked her to refrain from such “illegal action”, which would be counterproductive.
“The chief minister is trying to hide the death figure. This is absurd. What is there to be ashamed of? She should not hide the truth. This will adversely affect the entire process of containing the outbreak,” state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said.
He claimed that Banerjee had earlier tried to hide the dengue death figure too.
During the 2017 dengue outbreak in the state, Banerjee had claimed that some private healthcare units were reporting deaths from an “unknown fever” as deaths caused by dengue to “malign” her government.
CPI(M) state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra echoed Ghosh and said it was for doctors to certify the reason behind the deaths and not the chief minister.
“It is absurd and unethical to claim that people died due to kidney ailments and other diseases even after being tested positive for coronavirus. If she (Banerjee) is doing it, it is an illegal intervention. This should immediately stop,” he said. Senior Congress MP Pradip Bhattacharya demanded that the state government reveal the actual figures instead of “hiding” those.
Body buried after protest
Police continued to face protest from locals as the latter protested cremation of a patient who died of coronavirus on Wednesday night.
According to reports, locals had prevented police from burying the patient’s body due to fears of potential contamination. Police sources said they managed to bury the body at 4 am.
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