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Political slugfest in Bengal over kid deaths

WB Kids

Ashok Chatterjee

Kolkata (The Hawk): With the West Bengal health department coming under attack after several hundred babies being admitted in hospitals for an unknown fever and flu, which state health officials now say is caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza, a political slugfest has started.

Such a large number of children falling ill at the same time has caused a lot of concern amongst the health officials as well as the opposition parties. The magnitude could be gauged with sheer numbers -- from September 1-15, 1195 kids were admitted at Jalpaiguri District Hospital.

Leader of opposition Suvendu Adhikari tweeted that in North Bengal due to unknown fever and flu, 750 children have been admitted so far. Out of them, 6 have died. In Malda district alone, there are 200 kids admitted in hospital for the same fever and the government is busy with elections in Bhabanipur.

 Concerned at the alarming situation, Adhikari even wrote a letter to the Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday urging him to send health ministry officials to Bengal.

In the letter Adhikari wrote: “My apprehension is that, they (Bengal administration) may be consciously reluctant to take any concrete measure/ step as it may earn a bad name to the CM who is also the Health Minister and might affect her prospects at the by-election.

Hence, I kindly request you to dispatch a Central Team of experts, immediately to West Bengal, to assist and aid the WB Health department in order to save our children.”

Without naming anyone, TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh claimed that for BJP leaders’ “idle mind is devil’s workshop”.

“The central government has certified that the health infrastructure in West Bengal is best in the country and some people just to be in the news malign the Trinamool Congress-run government. The government is taking necessary steps,” said Kunal.

West Bengal Bharatiya Janata party chief Dilip Ghosh also urged the state government to seek help from the central government in order to curb the disease.

On Thursday, Adhikari in another letter to the Union health minister, pointed out about a new medical college in Birbhum district of Bengal by the name Santiniketan Medical College, which is being run by a trust named SWADHIN, which is turn is run and managed by Trinamool Congress strongman and Mamata Banerjee trusted lieutenant Anubrata Mandal.

He asked the Centre to cancel the affiliation of the medical college.