New Delhi: Amid the ongoing tussle between the Centre and West Bengal government, which became more acerbic by the exchange of letters between the CM and the Governor, the government on Friday has admitted that 57 patients had died, but the 39 among them had other health condition. So, the state tally remains 18. Also Read - Lockdown in Delhi: Containment Zones in Capital Rises to 102 as COVID-19 Tally Crosses 17,000-mark - Full List Here

Only 18 of the deaths were because of COVID-19, Bengal Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha told the media. “Balance 39 deaths were due to comorbidities and COVID-19 was incidental,” Sinha said. Also Read - Theatres to Reopen by June 30, Not Sooryavanshi But Hollywood Biggies to Release First to Check Footfalls?

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On Friday, the inter-ministerial central team visiting West Bengal raised several questions over the methodology of the state-appointed audit committee which is ascertaining the number of the novel coronavirus deaths. A day before, the central committee had a meeting with the principal secretary (health) in which the secretary had explained that if a Covid-19 patient dies in a road accident, then that death can’t be attributed to COVID-19. “The IMCT did not find the reasoning convincing as there is no comparison between a road death and a death in a hospital due to a disease,” the central team said in its letter.

Later in the day, the state government released the number of 57 and explained why this could not be the official death toll of Covid-19.

Meeting Sought with Police Commissioner Could Not Materialise

The IMCT on Friday inspected areas in Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling and Kalimpong. “Meeting sought with the Police Commissioner could not materialise as requested. The IMCT would still request you to facilitate the meeting with the police commissioner,” the team wrote in its letter addressed to the chief secretary.

The team has suggested stricter implementation of the lockdown.