Mamata Banerjee criticises dissenters saying this is an unprecedented crisis, “there may be mistakes, so come & help, stop politicising”

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that the state government was faced with an unprecedented crisis over Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and there may be mistakes in handling it, but it was no time for the Opposition parties to find slips and malign. “I promise to not bring in politics before the current crisis is over, you should too,” she said, directing her words at the Opposition political parties.

“Nurses, doctors and healthcare workers have not been trained to handle what we are faced with now. So there may be slips. But some political parties are using this time of disaster to politicise matters,” she said. Banerjee said that if they wanted to improve the situation, they should come forward and help by taking up brooms and cleaning hospitals and other areas. “I can do it, I don’t mind,” she said. “But when we go back home after a hard day’s work – not just myself, but all those involved in the work – there is only criticism,” she said.

“I appeal to those finding fault in our efforts, that if they are willing to help, let them come forward,” she said, adding that fake news was circulating to defame the Bengal government.

Banerjee said that leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party should not expect that everything will run perfectly in such an unprecedented situation. “How can they expect our doctors and nurses to get trained perfectly within such a short time (for treating COVID-19)? They may make some mistakes in writing, there may be some mistakes in issuing notices or printing,” she said. She asked the BJP leaders to understand that health care personnel are overworked.

She clarified that there was no shortage of beds for COVID-19 patients in the state. “If there is such news, it can create panic among healthcare workers about whether they will get treatment if they test positive,” she added. The CM said that there are currently 790 beds for COVID-19 cases in Kolkata. The number of active COVID-19 cases in Bengal at present is 550 while 124 have been discharged so far. Thirty-three cases were reported in the last 24 hours.

Mamata Banerjee also alleged that the BJP was trying to distract the government from its duties by creating uproars on social media about alleged mismanagement of COVID-19. She accused them of “humiliating” Bengal and making false claims about the law and order situation before the nation regarding an attack on police personnel in Howrah’s Tikiapara on Tuesday. She added that she had asked police to take stern measures against the wrongdoers in the incident.

On Wednesday, she also announced that an economic roadmap of Rs.1,52,000 crore had been drawn up for six months by a task force created to handle the post-COVID-19 situation.

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