KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday claimed that her government was not getting necessary assistance from the Centre to combat COVID-19 and it was dependent on its own resources to tackle the crisis.
Banerjee, who was attending a meeting of hospital representatives at the state secretariat, said the health department will procure two lakh masks and 30,000 gloves.
Dispelling reports that shops and markets will be shut down as a precautionary measure against the pandemic, the TMC chief said those spreading rumours will be tracked and taken to task.
"We are not getting enough help from the Centre. We are procuring necessary things by roping in self-help groups," Banerjee said.
She said the state government has ordered 10,000 thermal scanners and 300 ventilation machines.
Banerjee said her government will provide Rs 5 lakh insurance cover each to the 10 lakh government medical staffers across the state till April 15.
"Please note shops, markets and departmental stores will remain open. If these places are closed, how will people buy essentials? I will not allow hoarding of essential commodities and escalation of prices. We will take strong action against those who spread rumours," she asserted.
The TMC supremo also insisted that the decision to temporarily shut down educational institutes and public places has been taken to avoid mass gatherings.
She stated that children will be provided mid-day meals at home for now.
Enumerating the measures being taken by the state to deal with the crisis, the chief minister said there will be 100 more beds at Beleghata ID hospital in the city, 500 at the isolation ward of a new state-run facility at Rajarhat, 150 additional beds at M R Bangur Hospital and 50 more at R G Medical College and Hospital.
She asked hospitals to coordinate over WhatsApp groups.