Opening up many economic activities will raise COVID cases in Bengal: BJP

Kolkata, May 18 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is opening up many economic activities in deference to what the other states were doing, but that could increase in Covid-19 cases, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said on Monday.

'The Centre has imposed night curfew across the country from 7 pm to 7 am to restrict movement of people and to ensure proper maintenance of social distancing norms,' Ghosh told newspersons here.

But the West Bengal government has not asked its residents to strictly abide by the night curfew, he said claiming that Banerjee is creating a dangerous situation for the people of the state.

He said that the system advocated by experts to contain the spread of coronavirus should have been followed, but she had opened up activities leading to the spread of the disease in new districts in the state, including Birbhum and Purba Bardhaman, while there are several cases in Murshidabad and Malda.

'She is herself confused and is creating confusion among the people by creating three categories in the restricted zones,' he said.

He said that if hawkers' markets are opened, these can become hotspots for spreading the disease since shops there are located closely.

'People are suffering, but this is happening not just in our state. The central government is providing food to people in need,' the BJP leader said, adding that life is more important than being without food for a couple of days.

Ghosh alleged that Banerjee was peeved with the central government since it is not providing money to the state government directly, but is providing assistance through various projects for employment generation.

The MP denied that migrant workers were walking hundreds of kilometres to their homes for food and shelter, claiming that 'had there been a dearth of food, many would have died in this one and half months.' He claimed that while other states have arranged for hundreds of special trains to take their people back home, the West Bengal government's response has been lukewarm.

He claimed that the West Bengal government was not fully equipped to deal with the effects of super cyclone 'Amphan', asserting that more than a crore people of the state may get affected by it.

Ghosh said that though private buses carry the lion's share of public in the state, the government is not announcing any revision of fares so that the owners can ply their vehicles without suffering losses. PTI AMR NN NN