Nobel winner Abhijit Banerjee in Mamata Banerjee’s Covid-19 policy team


6th April, 2020 06:42:51 printer

Nobel winner Abhijit Banerjee in Mamata Banerjee’s Covid-19 policy team

Chief minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee on Monday said Bengal is forming a team to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and will rope in services of Nobel winner Abhijit Banerjee.

“Due to lockdown, there’s no revenue. We don’t know how long we’ve to stay like this. We’ve to plan for future. Our government will form a Global Advisory Committee for Covid-19 response policy in state. Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee will be a part of the committee,” said CM Banerjee.

On Friday, the Centre approved the release of Rs11,092 crore to states under State Disaster Risk Management Fund following an assurance from prime minister Narendra Modi to augment state resources needed to fund coronavirus containment efforts.

A release from the home ministry described the funds as “advance release” of Centre’s share of first installment of SDRMF for 2020-21.

States have been authorised to use SDRFM funds for testing and treatment costs among other Covid-19 containment requirements

As of 12 PM this afternoon, the total number of active coronavirus cases reported in West Bengal is 61, of which 55 cases are from seven families only, the chief minister said.

Only 3,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have been sent by the Centre, said the CM, adding that she arranged 2,27,000 PPEs.

Around 35 people are presently staying at isolation rooms set up at various hotels in Kolkata, which have been earmarked by the Hotels and Restaurants Association of Eastern India (HRAEI) following the outbreak of Covid-19.

Following a request from the West Bengal government, 31 two-star, three-star and four-star hotels across the state have offered a total of 640 rooms at subsidised rates to people who have been directed to live in isolation for 14 days.

“The government is asking those who need isolation whether to stay at its quarantine places or hotels. Many are opting for hotels. At present 32 or 35 people are staying at the identified hotels on pay-and-use basis”, secretary of HRAEI Sudesh Poddar told PTI.

Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said he has not been updated about the steps being taken by the state government in combating the disease.

“I am not complaining but I think I should have been informed,” he was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Dhankhar, who has been at the loggerheads with the state government on a range of issues since taking charge in July last year, had recently praised the chief minister for her efforts in fighting the pandemic.