In a surprising move, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee led West Bengal government announced on Monday that people testing positive for novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in the state will be allowed to go home and self-quarantine.
Addressing a press in a virtual news conference, Mamata Banerjee said that the person will be allowed to quarantine himself/ herself at home if there is a provision. She regretted the lack of quarantine facilities for deciding on the move.
“We have taken a decision. If a person has tested positive for COVID-19 and he/she has the provision to isolate himself/herself at his/her residence, the person can home quarantine himself/herself. Lakhs and lakhs can’t be quarantined, the government too has its limits,” the West Bengal CM.
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The Trinamool Congress chief also took on the Modi led Central government over its COVID-19 response, stating that the latter had been issuing contradictory statements on lockdown implementation.
“There is no clarity,” Banerjee said, referring to the home ministry order allowing opening of standalone shops in COVID-19 free areas.
“The Centre, on one hand, seeks the enforcement of lockdown, while on the other it issues an order to reopen shops,” the TMC leader said, suggesting that the Centre was confused about lockdown implementation.
The chief minister also called on the Centre to take responsibility for the hardship being faced by the poor and daily wage earners.
“If tea garden employees are not getting wages, MNREGA workers are not getting work, then the Centre has to bear the responsibility,” she said.
On Sunday, Banerjee had said that her government would extend all possible help to the people from the state who are currently stuck outside amid the coronavirus lockdown.
“GoWB (Government of West Bengal) will initiate every possible help to people of Bengal stuck in diff (different) parts of the country due to lockdown, in returning home. I’ve instructed my officers to do the needful. Till the time I’m here, nobody from Bengal should feel helpless. I’m with you in these tough times,” she tweeted.
“I am personally overseeing this & we will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that everyone gets any possible help. The initiation has already started & all students from Bengal stuck in Kota would begin their journey back soon,” Banerjee added.
All other states in India are implementing quarantine at government facilities for confirmed coronavirus positive patients.