Centre will decide on extending lockdown, I am trying my best to see people are not inconvenienced: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that the decision to extend the lockdown lies with the Centre. During a press conference at the state administrative headquarters Nabanna, Banerjee said that she has been reading on social media that 49 days’ lockdown is being considered to be good in tackling the situation. However, she said this claim should be examined and any decision on extending the lockdown will be taken by the Centre.

Banerjee said that she had been informed by her party leader – Trinamool Congress MP – Sudip Bandyopadhyay that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has discussed the possibility of extending the lockdown in a video conference during the day in which he spoke to the floor leaders of the political parties in the Parliament. However, nothing is confirmed yet, Banerjee added.

Currently, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the state is 71, Banerjee said. Out of this, 61 are from 11 families. Sixteen COVID-19 patients are currently admitted at Beliaghata Infectious Diseases (ID) Hospital in Kolkata. Five have recovered already and three will be released later today.

Also, over 200 persons were quarantined in the state after they returned from the Tablighi Jamaat’s religious conference in Delhi. Among them, 108 are foreign nationals while 79 are from Bengal, Banerjee said.

Banerjee also announced that the state has set up three task forces to tackle the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in the state. One of the task forces will deal with restrictions and relaxations of various services during the country-wide lockdown. The second will handle financial matters and the third will look at enforcement of various rules and regulations across Bengal.

The chief minister assured that there is enough supply of hydroxychloroquine in the state, which is being considered by a number of doctors for the treatment of COVID-19.

Dr Abhijit Chowdhury, who is part of the state’s expert team on COVID-19 said that doctors in Bengal are using various treatment methods applied in various parts of the world in treating COVID-19. One of these methods, he said, involves blood transfusion from those who have recovered to those who are currently undergoing treatment.

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