The Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) has said that West Bengal has the highest mortality rate in the country at 12.8 per cent. "For a total reported number of 744 + 72 = 816 COVID patients, the mortality rate of 12.8 per cent is by far the highest in the country. This extremely high mortality is a clear indication of low testing and weak surveillance and tracking," said the IMCT report.
The IMCT also pointed out discrepancies in the figures in the medical bulletins and the figures communicated to the Government of India. "The bulletin of 30.04.2020 showed active COVID cases as 572, discharged after treatment 179 and expired due to COVID 33 making a total of 744. In a communication to the Union Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) from the Principal Secretary (Health) the total number of cases was indicated to be 931, leading to a discrepancy of 187 cases," the report stated. The report stated that on April 30, it was admitted that 72 patients have died but classified them as death due to co-morbidities and were not included in the figure of 744.
The team's report also said that the state government did not support IMCT in the performance of its duties. IMCT said that it repeatedly sought the state government's assistance in interacting with public, health professionals and government functionaries. It said that it also sought to meet the Principal Secretaries of various departments but could only interact with the Principal Secretary of the Health Department that too through video conferencing.
It also questioned the state's claim of a high level of surveillance. IMCT said that there were no databases to support that claim.
The IMCT also commended the efforts of the Health Department in increasing testing from 400 tests per day on April 20 to 2,410 on May 2. It said that pooling samples have also started in six labs. The IMCT was on a two-week visit to the state before submitting the report to the Chief Secretary of West Bengal.
As on May 4, 8am, West Bengal reported 963 cases, with 35 deaths and 151 discharges.