The official death toll due to COVID-19 in West Bengal has doubled in the past five days after the state government led by Chief Minister (CM) Mamata Banerjee shelved its controversial death audit committee which had drawn much ire and criticism on charges of attributing COVID-19 deaths to co-morbidities, reports Hindustan Times.
Between 23 March and 30 April, the state had reported a total of 33 deaths on account of COVID-19. However, in the five days after that, the State has gone on to report 35 additional deaths.
From 1 April to 30 April, the state government had attributed a total of 72 COVID-19 deaths to co-morbidities. Finally, the State shelved the practice from 1 May. However, it maintained the death toll at 68 as earlier given it continues to not add the deaths already attributed to co-morbidities in its official toll of COVID-19 deaths.
It should be noted that taking all deaths into account, the State's COVID-19 death toll stands at 140 as of 5 May with a total of 1,344 confirmed cases having been reported so far. Also, in West Bengal, CM Banerjee herself holds the Government's health portfolio.
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