West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee's brother Ashim dies of COVID-19
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee's younger brother, Ashim Banerjee, passed away on Saturday morning due to COVID-19 related complications in Kolkata. He was 62 years old. He had reportedly tested positive for the deadly virus about a month ago and had been undergoing treatment at Medica Superspecialty Hospital in Kolkata. Here are more details.
Ashim had certain comorbidities such as hypertension: Doctor
Dr. Alok Roy, Chairman of Medica Superspecialty Hospital, confirmed to news agency ANI that Ashim was undergoing treatment for COVID-19 and passed away at the hospital on Saturday. "He was detected with COVID-19 last month and was undergoing treatment for almost a month now. He had certain comorbidities such as hypertension," a senior doctor at the hospital was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
Last rites performed as per COVID-19 protocols
Ashim breathed his last at about 9:20 am at Medica Superspecialty Hospital, according to a senior doctor. His last rites were scheduled to be performed on Saturday afternoon at Nimtala Cremation Ground as per COVID-19 protocols. Ashim—who was popularly known as Kalida among the locals in his residential area of Kolkata's Kalighat—reportedly lived in the same house as his sister and CM Mamata.
Vice-President Naidu, Rajasthan CM Gehlot conveyed condolences to Mamata
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu conveyed his condolences to CM Mamata on the untimely demise of her brother. Several senior political leaders, including Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and BJP Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, also expressed grief over Ashim's passing and offered condolences to his family.
West Bengal saw highest single-day spike on Friday
To note, West Bengal is among India's worst-hit states due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It's one of the 12 states that cumulatively account for 79.7% of India's total active cases. It registered 20,846 fresh cases on Friday—its highest single-day spike—taking its tally to 10,94,802 cases. Earlier on Saturday, West Bengal declared a fortnight-long lockdown from Sunday to May 30 to contain the COVID-19 spread.
Forced to impose lockdown to control situation: WB Chief Secretary
"To ensure the health of the people and control the COVID-19 situation, we are forced to impose this (lockdown)," said West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay. "There is now an unprecedented situation...where the scarcity of oxygen and other medicines is increasing. To control this situation, we are imposing strict conditions on the movement of transport and other sectors for two weeks," he added.
India is the second worst-hit country in the world
With more than 2.4 crore COVID-19 cases and over 2.62 lakh deaths, India is the second worst-hit country in the world, following the United States, in terms of the number of infections. India on Saturday reported 3.26 lakh fresh cases in the last 24 hours, which pushed the country's total tally to 2.43 crore, while 3,890 people lost their lives in the same period.