The central government's Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) has said West Bengal has the highest mortality rate in the country at 12.8 per cent. The observation was made by IMCT leader Apoorva Chandra in his letter to state Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha, PTI reported.
"This extremely high mortality rate is a clear indication of low testing, weak surveillance, and tracking," Chandra said in the letter.
A discrepancy has been brought to the fore in the number of Covid-19 cases reported by the state in its medical bulletins and its communication with the Union government, Chandra noted in the letter.
The team, led by Chandra, returned to the national capital after having completed two weeks of stay in the city.
A BSF jawan deployed in the entourage of the IMCT to West Bengal has tested positive for COVID-19, following which over 50 personnel of the force were quarantined, officials said. They said the infected personnel is working as a driver (constable rank) and was attached with the IMCT that was touring Kolkata and other places to review and suggest measures to the state government for containment of coronavirus.
The IMCT was staying at the Border Security Force (BSF) guest house in Kolkata, and all the logistics like vehicles, security personnel, and food were being arranged by the paramilitary.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal government allowed standalone liquor shops to reopen from Monday in green, orange and red zones, but not in containment areas. The guideline issued by the government in this regard said only 'OFF' category shops selling foreign, IMFL, and country spirits will remain functional and not 'ON' shops. The government also disallowed outlets located in shopping complexes to re-open. Beer pubs, clubs, restaurant- cum-bars and hotel-restaurant-cum-bars will remain closed.
Initially, the government guideline allowed shops to stay open from 10 AM till 6 PM, but later the timing was changed from 3 PM to 6 PM.