Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday that people should not behave irresponsibly if they show coronavirus-like symptoms, amid concern over an 18-year-old COVID-19 patient disregarding advice for medical tests.
Expressing disgust over the attitude of the patient and his family members, Banerjee said just because someone belongs to an influential family doesn't mean he will behave in an irresponsible way.
The chief minister also instructed the police to take stern action against those spreading fake news in regard to the coronavirus.
"We don't support if somebody tries to hide his/her symptoms and don't take precautionary measures. If anyone exhibits any symptom of coronavirus, he should immediately go for test," Banerjee said while addressing a programme here.
The 18-year-old man, who returned from England on March 15, tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, making it the first confirmed case in the state.
His mother, a senior official in the state home department, flouted guidelines set by the health department by not going for a medical checkup immediately after her son landed at the city airport, according to official sources.
The woman official was advised by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport authorities to take her son for a checkup at the Beliaghata ID hospital but she did not pay heed to their advise and took her home in the southern part of the city, they said.
"We are welcoming those who are coming from abroad, but not their ailments. I don't support if someone avoids the test just because he belongs to an influential family. I don't support the act of visiting shopping malls while carrying the virus which may infect people. I don't support the casual behaviour of going to a park and exposing people to infection," Banerjee said.
The chief minister also cautioned against deliberate attempts to spread irresponsible and unverified news "by some news channels".
"If someone is infected with the virus abroad and arrives here, how can you say he has been infected here? Technically that is not true. Just because a development has taken place in late evening hours can you interpret it in your own way?" she asked.
"Those who are coming (from outside) please get tested and keep yourself isolated for a period of 15-27 days," Banerjee said.
Banerjee said her government will introduce a new roster for state employees so that they can come early and leave at 4 pm to avoid peak hour rush in buses and trains.
"For the interest of the employees we will also facilitate online medical leave application to be addressed to the chief secretary via the concerned departmental head," the chief minister said.
Banerjee said this was not the time to do politics and asserted that despite having differences with New Delhi on political issues, her government is fighting the coronavirus outbreak together with the Centre....