Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking help to contain the surge of coronavirus in the state, which she said, has been brought in by “outsiders” coming to campaign for “some political parties”. In her letter, she outlined three areas — including the supply of vaccines and crucial drugs like Remdesivir — in which the Centre’s help was needed.
Citing her letter of February 24, in which she sought clearance for direct purchase of vaccines with state funds to inoculate the entire state, she wrote the state has not received it yet.
“In the meantime, the number of cases in the state has also begun to increase sharply, particularly in view of coming of a large number of outsiders to the state for election campaign and other purposes at the behest of some political parties. As such, in the present situation, we have to significantly scale up our capacities to tackle the pandemic on war footing,” she wrote.
Mentioning vaccination as the first stop to this goal, she wrote, “We have to vaccinate around 2.7 crore (people) and we need 5.4 crore doses”.
She also wrote that the supply of essential medication like Remdesivir and Tocilizumab is “extremely scarce and uncertain”, which is a matter of grave concern.
The state only has 1000 vials of Remdesivir and none of Tocilizumab. It needs 6000 vials of Remdesivir and 1000 of Tocilizumab a day, she wrote.
The Chief Minister also flagged the issue of oxygen, which has been a matter of concern in several states, including Maharashta and national capital Delhi.
“SAIL is meeting out need at the moment, and we shall be grateful if you kindly instruct them for steady supplies,” she wrote.
Ms Banerjee has blamed the BJP for the spread of Covid in parts of the state.
“Do you know, they have got a whole lot of people into the state. In the name of election campaign, they have got so many outsiders and they have spread the disease here and run away,” she had said at a rally this week.
Earlier this week, she had also requested the Election Commission to club the remaining phases of the ongoing assembly elections into a single phase — a possibility the poll body had negated earlier in the same day.
Bengal reported 6,910 new infections and 26 deaths just ahead of the fifth phase of polling on Saturday. According to the state government, the total count of cases has reached 6,43,795 and the number of active cases is 41,047.