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May 6, 2021

Must wear a mask; don’t be afraid, be careful; the next 15 days are crucial: Mamata Banerjee

Must wear a mask; don’t be afraid, be careful; the next 15 days are crucial: Mamata Banerjee

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today addressed a press conference at Nabanna on the COVID-19 situation in the state.

Highlights of the press conference:

Oxygen plants would be set up at 105 hospitals, including subdivisional hospitals, medical college hospitals and super-speciality hospitals. A plant each has already been set up at the medical college hospitals in Diamond Harbour and Cooch Behar.

By employing the medical interns and postgraduate medical students to treat COVID-19 patients, the state would get an additional 2,000 doctors and nurses. Quack doctors in villages would be employed as Swasthya Suraksha Bandhus.

All nursing homes and hospitals are being given permission to increase bed capacity by 40 per cent, and beds in private hospitals would increase by a cumulative amount of 2,000.

In jute factories, 30 per cent of the total worker strength would work in each shift.

The families of those who died in violence after the elections would each get an amount of Rs 2 lakh, irrespective of the political party they were affiliated to.

During the period law and order was under the direct control of the Election Commission of India, 16 people died, of whom about half belonged to the BJP and the other half to the Trinamool Congress, and one person was from a party which was part of the Sanjukta Morcha.

Despite all political gatherings being banned in view of the corona situation, a few Union government minister are visiting villages and instigating the people to riot. I would request them to refrain from doing this.

It has been noticed that wherever the BJP won seats, those areas are seeing violence. Such places have been identified as black spots. In whichever districts administrative inefficiency has been observed, the SPs have been replaced.

I have cancelled election victory ceremonies because of the pandemic and have asked everyone to live in peace.

I would request the BJP to accept the mandate of the people. Since its leaders could not accept the defeat, they are indulging in violence.

Udayan Guha’s hand has been broken. Since the BJP got more seats in Cooch Behar, the district is seeing more violence. I am warning my party members too that I will not spare them if I hear of anyone indulging in violence.

For the last six months, BJP leaders from Delhi came here and aggravated the pandemic situation.

When patients do not get oxygen, no government teams come; neither do they come when people do not get vaccines. No team went to investigate the Hathras gang-rape case. Even when riots happen in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh no Union government teams come. Then why is an inter-ministerial team coming within 24 hours of my taking oath? Guests are always welcome, anyway.

Whoever comes to the state have to have negative RT-PCR test certificates; if they do not, the state government would conduct tests. The law would be the same for everybody. This rule would apply to even those who come on special flights. Those who test positive for the coronavirus would have to quarantine for 14 days.

Before the assembly elections here, the prime minister had said that farmers would get Rs 18,000 each under the PM Kisan scheme (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi). That is why I sent a letter to the prime minister today to initiate payments for the 14.91 lakh farmers who are eligible under the scheme.

Under the Bengal government’s Krishak Bandhu Scheme, from January 1, 2019 till now, Rs 3,454 crore has been given to the farmers. As part of the death benefit scheme under Krishak Bandhu, during the same period, Rs 413.65 crore has been given to the families of 20,678 farmers.

As soon as the pandemic situation eases a little, we would start the process of giving Rs 10,000 under the Krishak Bandhu Scheme, as well as start the Duare Ration, women’s pension and other schemes as promised.

Everyone must ensure they wear a mask outside their homes. Do not be afraid. Be careful, and everything would be all right. The next 15 days are crucial, when the current restrictions would be in place.

I am requesting all clubs and puja committees, religious organisations and people in the villages to take responsibility and make people understand the need to not congregate for any religious purpose, and even if they do, to ensure that there are not more than 50 people. Stay at home and pray.

Rumours are being spread to blacken the name of Bengal. My regard for the respect of the mothers and sisters of my state is as high as the Himalayas.

No one would be allowed to riot; if anyone indulges in violence, the State will take stern steps.

The Union government is taking the oxygen supply from our state to other states, it is not supplying the states vaccines against COVID-19, which can be bought for Rs 30,000 crore, yet is spending Rs 20,000 crore for the Central Vista project. It has spent crores on a statue. Why should people suffer? For conducting elections in Bengal in its own way, the BJP neglected the COVID-19 situation here and as a result, aggravated it.

They cannot digest the defeat. Instead of standing beside the people in this hour of need because of the pandemic, they are sending ministers to instigate rioting. Why can’t those ministers go to COVID hospitals instead to assess the good work being done?