The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has reiterated the need for accountability to tackle the pandemic situation in West Bengal.
It is estimated that after the eight-phase Assembly elections are over on April 29, West Bengal will be one of most hardest hit state in the pandamic with daily new infections already crossing 16400. Already all the beds meant for Covid in Private and Government hospitals are full with no signs of lull in the infections in the state. Yesterday 4 person allegedly died in a Birbhum hospital in dearth of oxygen.
CPI(M) Politburo Member MD Salim on Wednesday took a veiled dig at the central government saying that in Jordan, the death of six persons due to the lack of oxygen led to the resignation of the country’s health minister. He also demanded that all the poll counting agents in West Bengal should be tested for Covid-19 by the Election Commission, to which the commission has replied affirmatively on Wednesday.
Underlining the problems of black marketing and hoarding of essential medical items, Salim demanded stern action from the central and the state government. Anti-viral drug Remdesivir, which costs around Rs 2000-3500 per vial, is often prescribed for the treatment of Covid-19. It is reportedly being sold at Rs 20,000 per vial in the black market and relatives of patients had to buy the medicine at exorbitant price to save their loved ones.
In another development in the state, about 300 application cabs, affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), have started a service for the covid-positive patients in their times of need. Announcing this, Indrajit Ghosh, leader of the application cabs organisation, said that they expected thousands of patients will benefit from this move.
Meeting in Kolkata, leaders of the Central Trade Unions Tuesday called for universal vaccination. They harped on the point that in the second wave of the pandemic, production oriented sectors like jute, tea, steel, where people to people contact happens during work, the workforce needs to be immediately vaccinated.
The Central Trade Unions also said that after Independence, in cases of medical emergencies, the vaccination programme undertaken has been an universal one. Thus, the Covid-19 vaccine should also be given at one price to all (Centre and state) and at free of cost to the common people of the country.
Beside medicines, other things such as jute is also being hoarded amid the chaos.
Speaking on the behalf of the Central Trade Unions and Federations, CITU state secretary Anadi Sahu also pointed out that in this year, jute production has been normal, but due to hoarding by a section of jute mill owners, the sector is suffering from less availability of jute and black marketing.
Meanwhile, the Budge Budge Jute Mill has been closed due to the lack of raw materials and many others are going to follow suit if the Centre does not allow the immediate import of raw jute from Bangladesh and other countries.
The Central Trade Unions also demanded stern measures to stop the hoarding of jute in the state and have written to the Chief Minister, the Chief Secretary, the Prime Minister and the departmental minister regarding this, Sahu said.
Apart from CITU state secretary Anadi Sahu, leaders of other Central Trade Unions and federations including TUCC, UTUC , AITUC , INTUC 12th July committee , and BSNL were present in the programme. They warned against any attempt by the government to force any reform measure taking chance of the pandemic. In view of the pandemic, big rallies will be avoided during May Day, they announced, adding that the day will be observed with customary dignity at the factory gates of the state.