Bengal replaces health secy over Covid row

Tuesday 19th May 2020 15:50 EDT

Amid raging controversy over alleged mishandling of the Covid-19 crisis, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has transferred health secretary Vivek Kumar from his post, prompting the opposition to claim the removal only proves "something was seriously wrong". Narayan Swaroop Nigam, who was the transport secretary, has replaced Kumar, according to the government notification. Kumar's transfer to the environment department as secretary comes days after a war of words broke out between the state and the central governments over the "dismal performance" of West Bengal in tackling the Covid-19 crisis. The Inter-Ministerial Central Teams (IMCT) which had visited Bengal for on-the-spot assessment of the Covid-19 situation had expressed their disappointment with the functioning of the health department headed by Kumar, who was appointed last December, replacing Sanghamitra Ghosh.

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