March 20, 2020
“Darenge nahi, hum larenge!” assures Mamata Banerjee
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee spoke to the media after a video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Coronavirus crisis.
Highlights of her speech:
The Centre did not give any assurances, only said they had noted everything. We have been holding meetings like the one they held today for almost two months.
I pointed out that people have not been so fearful about a disease like this one, though several have struck the population before. But we will not be afraid, we will take positive decisions. During a battle, one has to fight, not give up and retreat.
We told them to curtail all international flight services, immediately. So far, the positive cases here have come from outside. Mumbai and Telangana have also requested stopping international flights.
The World Health Organisation has said that though the first cases came from animals, the disease is now being spread by humans.
I stressed at the meeting that a programme would have to be implemented so that the unorganised sector gets some help. We have decided to give rice free from today through ration shops till September. Rice, flour and potatoes will be delivered to homes for those children who received mid-day meals under ICDS.
Quarantine centres have been set up here with almost 4,000 beds. Beds at hospitals for positive cases have been increased to 800.
So far, 5.63 lakh people have been screened, and 57 persons have been quarantined. Two persons have been kept in isolation wards after they tested positive on return from the UK. About 18,700 persons are under home surveillance, while 88 sample tests have been done.
Those who have come from abroad and have been roaming around instead of staying at home will be legally forced into quarantine if they themselves are unaware of the consequences. Quarantine is not a jail, arrangements are like a home. Let no one get infected because of you.
We have sought from the Centre testing kits, Ecno machines, SOP for testing at private labs and other resources.
I have requested all organisations not to hold public gatherings. This is not political rivalry. Please keep the bazaars, roads, and homes clean.
Bengal is the only state that is giving all services to everyone free of cost.