NEWS
30/03/2020 10:37 AM IST | Updated 30/03/2020 4:33 PM IST

Coronavirus West Bengal Updates: Kalimpong Woman Dies; 3 New COVID-19 Positive Patients

The state government has meanwhile asked each district in the state to select a hospital to turn it into a COVID-19 hospital and set up shelters for the poor.

DIBYANGSHU SARKAR via Getty Images
Daily-wage workers and the homeless queue up to get free food during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus in Kolkata on March 28, 2020. 

West Bengal saw its second death because of the novel coronavirus in the early hours of Monday. Reports suggest it was a woman from north Bengal. 

A total of 21 people have been infected in the state. 

The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government, meanwhile, plans to set up COVID-19 hospitals in every district of the state. 

The government also asked all districts to set up temporary shelters for the poor. 

Second death in Bengal

The woman who died of COVID-19 in north Bengal was 54 years old and had recently returned from Chennai. PTI reported that she had gone to Chennai for the treatment of her daughter. 

The woman died at 2:00 am on Monday at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri. She was from Kalimpong in Darjeeling district. 

A woman infected with the coronavirus died at a state-run hospital in north Bengal on Monday, taking the total number of COVID-19 deaths in West Bengal to two, hospital sources said.

PTI reported that the daughter and her doctor have been put under quarantine. 

Anandabazar.com reported that she was admitted on March 25 after she experienced severe breathing problems. 

Three patients test positive

Three more people tested positive in West Bengal, taking the total number of infected patients to 21. 

PTI reported that one of them, a 52-year-old doctor at a city-based Army hospital, had recently returned from Delhi, and a 66-year-old man from Baranagar without any travel history. The third, a 59-year-old-man from Hooghly’s Sheoraphuli, had recently travelled to Durgapur, according to the official.

The man from Hooghly is admitted to a private hospital in Salt Lake. “The patient is diabetic and hypertensive. He had travelled to Durgapur before March 16. He is currently in ICCU isolation with respiratory distress,” an official told The Telegraph.

According to the report in The Telegraph, the brother of the man from Baranagar will be moved to the Beliaghata Infectious Diseases hospital from a private hospital in Kolkata. 

While the man does not have travel history, his 60-year-old brother who had returned from Madhya Pradesh was admitted in hospital with a stomach ache, the report said. 

A hospital official told The Telegraph that the brother had been moved to isolation and was being tested for COVID-19. 

Meanwhile, health officials said the Army doctor, an anaesthetist, could have been infected with the virus during his travel to Delhi.

“We need to enquire his activities after returning from Delhi... on whether he had visited any patients or not. But this does not seem to be a case of community transmission. He is currently admitted at an isolation ward of the command hospital here,” an official told PTI.

COVID-19 hospitals in all districts

In an order on Sunday, West Bengal authorities asked each district in the state to select a private or state-run hospital and turn in into a facility to accommodate COVID-19 patients. 

A report in The Telegraph quoted chief secretary Rajiva Sinha as saying, “All districts have been asked to coordinate with senior health officials and local medical colleges to decide which hospital would be the best choice for transformation into a Covid-19 hospital.”

While issuing the order, Singh asked the districts to be on a “war footing”. 

Shelters for poor

While daily-wage workers across the country were struggling to reach home amid the outbreak and a massive lockdown, authorities in West Bengal have issued an order asking all districts to set up shelters for such workers so that they could stay in one place. 

This order too was issued by Sinha. PTI reported Sinha, citing a directive of the Ministry of Home Affairs for effective implementation of the lockdown measures.

“Adequate arrangements of temporary shelters and provision of food etc shall be made by the district administration for the poor and needy people, including migrant workers stranded due to lockdown measures in their respective areas,” the order said.

“District administrations should explore the option of involving NGOs/civil society/other voluntary organisations to support and augment the services,” it said.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect that the woman was from Kalimpong and died in Siliguri. 

(With PTI inputs)