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Mamata Banerjee Says 'COVID +ve Cases May Be Home-quarantined' As 'govt Has Its Limits'

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on Monday announced that her government will allow Coronavirus (COVID-19) positive patients to home-quarantine

West Bengal

In a major development, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on Monday announced that her government will allow Coronavirus (COVID-19) positive patients to home-quarantine themselves if they wish to do so. She added that the government cannot quarantine lakhs and lakhs of people. Bengal currently has 649 cases with 20 deaths.

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ICMR guidelines for quarantine

As per ICMR guidelines, home-quarantine is the preferred and initial step when individuals are suspect or contact of COVID-19 patients. However, ICMR has maintained that after 14-day home quarantine, once patient tests positive using RT-PCR swab, as per protocol - isolation, treatment and contact tracing must be initiated. Moreover, ICMR has stated that if a patient's symptoms worsen, he must be referred to designated COVID-19 hospitals. But if an individual tests positive for anti-body test, treatment in hospital or isolation as per protocol, must be followed - advises ICMR.

Mamata Banerjee won't allow Centre's inter-ministerial team for COVID ‘hotspots' in Bengal

Bengal and Centre's tussle

Currently, Bengal has been embroiled in a tussle with the Centre over the inter-ministerial central teams' visit, testing kits, PPEs and number of COVID deaths. The two Central teams which visited Bengal have reported several social distancing violations and non-cooperation from the state's side. Moreover, Bengal has accused Centre of not sending adequate PPEs and ICMR of sending faulty test kits - both claims have been refuted by Centre.

The biggest point of contention has been the under-reporting of COVID-19 deaths. Bengal government which has COVID-19 death audit panel has stated that while the audit committee has so far examined 57 deaths - only 18 are directly related to COVID-19, attributing remaining 39 deaths to severe co-morbid conditions. The MHA too has sent several warnings to Banerjee highlighting several lockdown violations in the state.

Coronavirus Live Updates: 1396 cases reported in last 24 hours; recovery rate of 22.17%

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