Oppn Slams WB Medical Official’s Transfer Over Leaked COVID Order

Opposition leaders in West Bengal blamed the Mamata govt of trying to cover up the COVID crisis in the state.

2 min read
File image of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The Medical superintendent and Vice-Principal (MSVP) of Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital was transferred by the West Bengal health department, hours after a confidential note from his office was leaked on social media. His transfer, which the ruling TMC government is calling "routine", has kicked up a political storm in the state.

MSVP Debdas Saha was transferred to a professorial post at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri. Sarmila Mallik of the community medicine department of Murshidabad medical college has been asked to take over as MSVP, reported The Times of India.

This comes after a order reportedly signed by Saha was photographed and circulated on social media, leaving the TMC government red-faced.

The three-shift duty roster from 27 April-17 May released on 25 April, carries a footnote with an advisory to doctors about not mentioning COVID-19 as the cause of death for patients who have been admitted after testing positive for coronavirus.

The order states, “Cause of death will be the usual cause. No mention of Covid in death certificates of Covid positive cases.”

The authenticity of the duty roster shared by Chowdhury could not be independently verified by The Quint.

The West Bengal government on Thursday revealed that 105 Covid-19 positive patients have died in the state so far. However, it maintains that the official COVID-19 death toll in the state is 33.

The expert audit committee set up by the West Bengal government on 3 April has come under heavy scrutiny and criticism for allegedly trying to manipulate the actual number of COVID-19 deaths in the state.

Opposition Hits Out at Mamata Govt

Opposition leaders have slammed the TMC over its alleged cover up of the COVID-19 crisis in the state.

Alleging that the state governtment has been "hiding" COVID date, leader of Congress in Lok Sabha and Murshidabad MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told PTI, "This transfer is an attempt by the state government to hide the truth. The state government should come out with a clarification as to why he was transferred. Was it due to the secret order on COVID deaths that got leaked?"

West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh alleged that instead of focusing on treatment of patients, the Mamata Banerjee-led government "was more keen on hiding the facts and figures."

Late on Wednesday, several BJP leaders including Dilip Ghosh, Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta and Union Minister of State Babul Supriyo had tweeted the photograph of the leaked order to lambast the TMC government's alleged attempts to cover up the medical crisis in the state.

Rubbishing the allegations, a senior TMC leader told PTI, "The allegations against the state government are politically motivated and baseless. The opposition has no work other than to spread canards about routine transfers."

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