New Delhi: Soon after the Trinamool Congress (TMC) won the election in an overwhelming mandate in West Bengal, party leader Derek O’Brien shifted his attention to the unfolding Covid-19 crisis in the country.
Responding to a Twitter user who asked for a Covid quiz from the former quizmaster, O’Brien said he will be back soon with it.
“I would like to see @derekobrienmp conduct a special quiz on pandemic management in India since December 2019. Often, good questions tell us more about what is going on than bad answers. Silences in response to situations reveal a lot,” journalist Madhavan Narayanan tweeted Monday.
To which, the Rajya Sabha MP replied: “Good idea. Will do. Give me a week to do some research. Will announce soon #CovidQuiz.”
— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও'ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) May 3, 2021
O’Brien joined the TMC in 2004, prior to which he was popularly known as the quizmaster of the Bournvita quiz and had conducted several shows across the world.
The quiz, helmed by the health drink company Bournvita, first debuted on radio in 1972, after which it moved to television in 1994 and began airing on Zee Channel.
In a 2002 report, O’Brien had said, “The quiz has generated a great deal of interest among schools in the West Asian region, with 100 schools from this region participating in the preliminary round.” He also talked about how it had reached a million students in nearly 5,000 schools across India and West Asia.
The TMC leader was also awarded the Indian Television Academy Milestone Award in 2010 for the Cadbury Bournvita Quiz Contest.
Covid crisis in West Bengal
After an eight-phase long assembly election in West Bengal, which was preceded by crowded campaigns by several leaders, the state emerged as one of the worst-hit by the Covid pandemic.
West Bengal reported the highest single-day surge at 17,515 new infections Sunday, which was also the election results day. According to data available with the health ministry, total cases in the state have risen to 8,51,854 while deaths now stand at 11,539.
While all adults above 18 years of age are now eligible to get the vaccine, West Bengal does not have enough stock.
“The ongoing inoculation process for those above the age of 44 will, however, continue at different medical facilities depending on the availability of vaccines,” an NDTV report noted.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was re-elected Sunday, has asked the Centre to supply the state with 3 crore doses to supplement the third phase of the inoculation drive.
(Edited by Rachel John)