West Bengal govt to form global advisory

West Bengal Chief Minister on Monday informed that as a response to the coronavirus crisis, the state government has decided that it will form a global advisory committee and Nobel laureate Dr Abhijit Banerjee will be part of it.

Addressing a press conference in Kolkata, Banerjee said, “Due to lockdown there is no revenue, we don’t know how long we have to stay like this. “We have to plan for future,” she added.

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“Nobel laureate Dr Abhijit Banerjee to be in the committee.  Have to plan for the future economy, Central government gets donation of large sums, we don’t, not that I’m jealous,” she said.

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The minister further said that she’ll take a decision on reopening the tea gardens. “The central government has asked us to reopen tea gardens. We are not taking any decision in haste, we are talking with the stakeholders and then we will decide whether to reopen the tea gardens or not. It’s the state’s decision,” she said.

Informing about the coronavirus situation in the state, Banerjee said that till 12 pm on Monday, 61 positive active cases are present in West Bengal and 55 of these are from 7 families. She also informed that 99 per cent of the cases have an international connection. So far, West Bengal has witnessed 3 deaths while 13 people have been discharged, she stated.

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Meanwhile, the state government has started identifying zones after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) gave its sanction to allow rapid testing for areas reporting clusters, large migration gathering, and hotspots.

“As soon the areas are identified, we will decide on the next step to start rapid testing,” a state health government official said.