In a significant development on Tuesday, the West Bengal government permitted the Inter-Ministerial Central Teams to conduct a field visit of the COVID-19 hotspot districts of Kolkata and Jalpaiguri. As per sources, the state police and pilot cars of the Border Security Force is accompanying them. This development comes after the IMCT leader Apurva Chandra met the West Bengal Chief Secretary Rajiv Sinha at the Border Security Force Headquarters (Eastern Command).
Earlier in the day, he revealed that the IMCT was not getting support from the West Bengal government. According to him, the team had been informed that their field visit had again been cancelled. Currently, there are 392 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in West Bengal out of which 73 persons have recovered while 12 casualties have been reported.
On Monday, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee flagged the breach of "established protocol" in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to her, the Inter-Ministerial Central Teams (IMCT) had arrived in Kolkata more than two hours before Union Home Minister Amit Shah's intimation regarding their visit. Moreover, she contended that the Central teams had neither taken a briefing from the state government officials before their field visit nor had they sought logistics support from the West Bengal government.
Banerjee also refuted the MHA's statement that the lockdown had been violated and the situation was serious in some of the districts such as Kolkata, Howrah, Medinipur East, 24 Parganas North, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and Jalpaiguri. She termed these observations are a "figment of imagination". Asserting that the state government had proactively enforced the lockdown, the West Bengal CM observed that such unilateral action on the part of the Centre was not desirable at a juncture when state governments and the Centre are working together to combat the novel coronavirus crisis.