If lockdown opens on May 4, it will be a big challenge: West Bengal Chief Secretary

Opening the lockdown on May 04 will pose a big challenge as close to 70% coronavirus cases in India are asymptomatic, said West Bengal Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha on Thursday, adding that the doctors are worried as to how to identify such Covid-19 patients.

The statement is significant as it’s the first remark that the ongoing, extended lockdown, may not be enough to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.

“In India, close to 70 per cent coronavirus cases are asymptomatic. Doctors are also worried as to how to identify them. If the lockdown is lifted on May 4, then this will be a big challenge. We have not decided anything that will happen after May 3,” Sinha said.

Addressing the media, Sinha tried to dispell the allegations that Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government is not co-operating with the Centre in its efforts to fight coronavirus.

“We have always responded to the queries from ICMR, Home Secretary, Ministry of Health or from any place. Tomorrow if I say that Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has to come here physically to find out an answer from me, what is the logic of this?” Sinha questioned.

On Wednesday, the Union Home Minstry-constituted Inter Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) was allegedly blocked by West Bengal government from carrying out their duty of assessing Covid-19 risk zones in the state.

The IMCT had said that the West Bengal government was supposed to provide logistic support to them for visiting the the coronavirus-affected areas but the state administration didn’t let them function smoothly. The chief secretary, on Thursday
, questioned the need for such a move.

“With the whole technology where we can talk to each other at five minutes’ notice, we can talk to each other over the phone, they can see what is happening through satellite, direct and indirect indicators. Why should they come here and expect us to cooperate?” Sinha further asked.

The IMCT head, on Wednesday, had also written to the West Bengal Chief Secretary, seeking a detailed report on the efforts being made to control the coronavirus in the State.

Sinha said that 58 new COVID-19 positive cases have been reported in the last 24 hours and there are 334 active cases in the State now.

A total of 15,784 persons are under quarantine and 11,089 have completed their quarantine period. There are 66 COVID-19 dedicated hospitals in the State, 12 labs for testing, and 150 containment zones.