The West Bengal Doctors’ Forum (WBDF), in a letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has raised serious concerns over a possible spike in Covid-19 cases in the state due to firecrackers during Diwali.
Dr Koushik Chaki, the Secretary of WBDF, said, “Yes, as far as West Bengal is concerned, I can say that the state government has asked for the list of front line workers who are selflessly working during this pandemic situation.”
“The Doctors’ Forum is requesting the administration, as well as, our responsible citizens to have restrain to control the spread of the virus. Deepawali is a festival of lights and firecrackers and COVID may aggravate the situation unless strict rules are enforced,” the WBDF said.
The letter to the CM read, "It is worth mentioning that about 64 doctors in the state have made supreme sacrifice mostly in line of duty caring for COVID as well as Non-COVID patients. The recent trends in the number of cases vis-a-vis test number in West Bengal have remained almost static since the last few days. The case numbers in five worst affected districts (Kolkata, North and South 24 Paraganas, Howrah and Hooghly) remains to be a matter of concern. We need to really increase tests all over the state. It is a pity that till now we could test about 44 thousand per day and even less in the last couple of days.”
“Awareness among people is sadly far less than expected. Section of the people at large have not followed the restrictions set by the Calcutta High court and already few more festivals are next to come. So the situation may worsen with the combined effect of non-compliance of norms and mass gatherings. Also with the winter season approaching, we need to be more vigilant," it added.
"Countries in Europe have already started to face a fresh wave of infection more lethal than before. Trace, Test, Isolate remains the key. Social norms need to be strictly imposed. In case of non-compliance scope of penalisation need to be put in place. We need to take visible, proactive steps in the right direction. Lip services won’t suffice. We need to understand the real time scenario and act prudently,” the WBDF letter said.
Recently, the WBDF filed a plea to the Calcutta High Court supporting the writ petition to restrict revellers during the Durga Puja festive seasons in West Bengal.