Crackdown in lockdown: Mamata pulls up officials over covid-19 preparations

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
Piling up pressure

The outbreak of coronavirus has understandably put a lot of strain on the understaffed government medical and health service infrastructure, especially in Uttar Pradesh. The growing number of suspected cases, apart from the massive influx of migrant labourers, has only made more difficult the onerous task of screening and treatment in UP. In this backdrop, the state health department has ordered deploying four health workers in two shifts at the residence of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s UP president, Swatantra Dev Singh, to screen the stream of visitors. This directive has caused resentment among field workers, who say they are already overworked. Meanwhile, the ruling party and the office of the chief medical officer have chosen to stay mum on the issue.

Matching masks

Chouhan has never failed to wear a mask while meeting people in recent weeks

After taking oath in a simple ceremony last week, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan (pictured) said repeatedly that fighting Covid-19 was his top priority. Chouhan has never failed to wear a mask while meeting people in recent weeks. Notably, he always wears a mask that matches his outfit. Inevitably, that came to the notice of the twitterati. So a user posted: “Shivraj Singh Chouhan's spirit in the fight with Covid-19 is commendable, but he looks more concerned about the colour of his masks.” Another tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asked: “Shivraj Singh Chouhan is now doing #coronafashionshow by matching masks with his dress. Will you fire him?” RTI activist and Vyapam whistleblower Anand Rai also took to Twitter to criticise Chouhan:  “People are dying and the CM is busy matching masks. Why always in celebration mode?”

Crackdown in lockdown

West Bengal district magistrates, police, hospital administrations and other state officials had a harrowing time on Monday after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee pulled up officials during a meeting to review the steps taken to tackle the novel coronavirus. During a videoconference, in which doctors and nurses were present, Banerjee came down heavily on administrators over preparations, leaving some of them blabbering and others in a cold sweat. Previously, Banerjee had conducted surprise visits to marketplaces to enforce the lockdown, catching unprepared violators off guard.

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