Monday, 30th October 2017

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Fresh plea to end ostracism

The Bengal chief minister said there should be no reason for anybody to be secretive about the coronavirus infection

  • Published 7.04.20, 3:37 AM
  • Updated 7.04.20, 3:37 AM
  • a min read
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Mamata’s appeal came in the backdrop of reports from a dozen places in south Bengal where people made their objections clear to the administration to the stay of Covid-19 patients’ families in their areas. (PTI)

Mamata Banerjee on Monday reiterated her appeal against ostracism of Covid-19 patients, their families and healthcare professionals handling them as protests erupted at several places in south Bengal against establishment of quarantine centres.

The Bengal chief minister said there should be no reason for anybody to be secretive about the novel coronavirus infection.

“Why should there be any need for anybody to hide this? There should be no hiding of this disease by any of us….

If the disease happens to somebody, the whole neighbourhood descending on that person’s home and unleashing julum (oppression)… it is just not right,” she said at a news conference at the state secretariat.

Mamata’s appeal came in the backdrop of reports from a dozen places in south Bengal where people made their objections clear to the administration to the stay of Covid-19 patients’ families in their areas. One person had been killed in a clash over the launch of a quarantine centre in Birbhum district on Saturday.

While the protests prompted the authorities to launch awareness campaigns, the chief minister took it upon herself to issue an appeal against the social isolation of the kin of Covid-19 suspects.

“It is not right, as we all are human beings…. In my neighbourhood, I, Mamata Banerjee, reside. If there is a neighbour who becomes a Covid-19 patient, I will oust his household from the neighbourhood, this mentality — please — let none of us have it,” she said.

Mamata repeatedly underscored the fact that the mortality rate of the disease was very low — in people without comorbidities — and some of the Covid-19 patients had already recovered in Bengal while many others were on the mend.

“If we point a finger at some one today, there could be others pointing their fingers at me tomorrow…. A disease is but a disease…. People get better,” the chief minister said.

“There is reason for caution, but not panic…. Certainly not inhumane behaviour,” she added.