West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide more ventilators for the State and release its share of funds pending with the Centre to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms. Banerjee also sought to know the details of vaccine development in the country.

“Central government should authorize which vaccine to be procured and used. They must issue guidelines in this regard,” a statement shared by the Chief Minister’s Office, quoted her as saying.

Ms. Banerjee said the Centre owes the State ₹53,000 crore, of which ₹4,315 crore is the share of GST compensation. The CM had raised the issue in an earlier meeting too.

The CM also spoke of the COVID-19 patient management system introduced by the State Health Department. “It identifies critical, moderate, mild and asymptomatic patients on a real time basis for immediate medical attention,” she said.

Comorbidities linked to COVID-19 deaths

Reflecting on the comorbidities linked to the death of COVID-19 patients, the Chief Minister said her government had started death audits of the patients which stands vindicated now. “89% of the COVID-19 deaths in our States were due to comorbidities.”

Ms. Banerjee said treatment in the State government hospitals, the requisitioned private hospitals as well as ambulance services are fully free. She informed the Prime Minister that Swastha Sathi Card has been provided to 7.5% crore people having health coverage of ₹5 lakh per family.

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