Press Trust of india

Bengal will work with Centre to implement COVID-19 vaccination prog: Mamata to PM

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Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday assured Prime Minister Narendra Modi that her government is fully prepared to work with the Centre and all other stakeholders for the speedy implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in the state.

The prime minister reviewed the COVID-19 situation in various states through video conferencing with chief ministers.

Noting that West Bengal has successfully reduced COVID-19 positivity and death rates, Banerjee said the recovery rate among the patients in the state has improved as compared to other parts of the country.

“We are ready to work with the Centre and all other stakeholders for speedy and universal vaccination for everyone as soon as the vaccine is available,” Banerjee told Modi during the virtual meeting, a statement issued by the West Bengal government said.

She said the entire nation is looking forward to an early vaccination programme, wherein the state government will join the Centre and all other stakeholders for a comprehensive battle against the pandemic.

Banerjee assured Modi that West Bengal is fully prepared with trained human resources and required infrastructure (including cold chain) for the vaccination programme, the statement said.

During the meeting, which was attended by various chief ministers, Banerjee said “political gamesmanship and competitive rallies” must be avoided in the greater public interest.

Even with the onset of the festive season and the commencement of suburban railway services, West Bengal has been successful in reducing the positivity and death rates and improving the recovery rate, she said.

“Despite sharing several international and inter-state borders and bearing the burden of patients from neighbouring states, West Bengal has been performing remarkably well as compared to other parts of the country,” the statement said.

She lauded the role played by ASHA workers in visiting households as part of the public health campaign.

Like her previous meetings, Banerjee expressed her grievances over the Centre not releasing adequate funds, including Goods and Services Tax (GST) dues, to the states.

The state government has already spent Rs 4,000 crore on COVID-19 management but the Centre has released only Rs 193 crore so far, she said.

Banerjee said the GST dues for West Bengal have amounted to Rs 8,500 crore and expenses on every account are increasing, the statement said.

West Bengal has reported 4,59,918 COVID-19 cases, including 8,072 fatalities, till Monday.

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