KOLKATA: West Bengal on Sunday recorded first death of a doctor posted as an assistant director of the state health department who tested positive for COVID-19. The deceased identified as Biplab Kanti Dasgupta, the assistant director of Central Medical Stores, was admitted to a private healthcare unit in Kolkata eight days ago with symptoms COVID-19 and doctors declared him dead in the early hours of Sunday.
Expressing her condolences, chief minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted, "We have lost Dr Biplab Kanti Dasgupta Assistant Director, Health Services, West Bengal in the early hours of today. He was Assistant Director of Health Services, Central Medical Stores. We are deeply pained with his untimely demise.’’
In another tweet, she said, "His sacrifice for the cause of ailing humanity will ever be in our hearts and will make our COVID warriors fight the deadly virurs with even greater determination. My heartfelt condolence to Dr Dasgupta’s bereaved family members and colleagues."
Hours after Dasgupta’s death was announced, Bengal BJP accused the state government of suppressing actual COVID-19 death toll.
"The state government is hiding the actual number of deaths due to coronavirus infection. They are removing the bodies after midnight and disposing off without the knowledge of the victims’ family members. We do not know whether the bodies are being disposed off following the norms laid down by the WHO,’’ said BJP’s Bengal president Dilip Ghosh.
Ghosh requested the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) visiting Bengal to investigate the actual Covid-19 death toll in the state.
On April 24, three days after the IMCT arrived Bengal, the state government said 57 Covid-19 patients died in the state and cause of death of 18 of them was attributed to coronavirus infection by an expert committee, the body assigned to announce deaths related to Covid-19 infection. In a statement by chief secretary Rajiva Sinha, coronavirus infection was ruled 'incidental' in cases of rest 39 deaths and the patients’ comorbid conditions were held responsible.
A pitched battle broke out between police and local people at Alipurduar in north Bengal three days ago when an attempt to burry a body of a Covid-19 patient was initiated. The local residents spotted two police vehicles and an earth excavator machine digging the bank of a river and suspected the administration would bury a Covid-19 victim’s body. The machine and two police vehicles were torched in the clash.
Sinha later admitted that a police team went to the spot to bury a body of a coronavirus infected patient.