The Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT), which visited Kalimpong today, said that no state government representative accompanied them in the district with whose help they would have identified areas to be visited. A Kalimpong woman who had returned from Chennai was the first Covid-19 patient in the hill district.
The 44-year old woman died at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital on 30 March. Some of her relatives, including those in Siliguri, had also come in contact with her before her death. Some of them tested positive for Covid- 19 and have now gone home after being cured in a Covid hospital in Siliguri.
More than 40 persons, who had come in contact with the woman had been quarantined. A member of the central team and the Advisor (Ops), National Disaster Management Authority, Brig Ajay Gangwar told media persons in Kalimpong that they faced problems during the visit as no state government official was present to guide them.
“We do not know the area and no one has accompanied us, but we have been apprised of the figures and statistics, the number of quarantine centres, how many persons were there. We will send our observations to both the Centre and the state government,” he said. Meanwhile, as they left Siliguri for Kalimpong, the members of the multi-disciplinary team today visited the Siliguri Regulated Market (SRM) again.
The additional secretary of the ministry of human resource and development, Vineet Joshi, who is leading the team, interacted with fruit and vegetable commission agents there. The traders complained about lack of cleanliness in the market.
“They sought to know how long the stalls are opened, and the workforce present. We have complained about lack of cleanliness in the market, as heaps of garbage remain here and there,” said a fruit and vegetable commission agent, Paritosh Saha. New equipment at VRDL An auto RNA extraction machine is set to be installed at the Viral Research & Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) at the NBMCH soon.
NBMCH officials said the advanced equipment can analyse the samples at minimum time and ensure quality. The manual method is being followed presently and it is time consuming, NBMCH officials said, adding that it will be helpful in expediting sample analysis of Covid-19 infection.
One more Real Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) has been brought at the laboratory, considering the pandemic. HNAF distributes protective kits The Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation (HNAF) has handed over protection kits meant for 500 frontline health workers under the Siliguri Municipal Corporation to mayor Asok Bhattacharya.
“We had decided to distribute sufficient number of facemasks, head gears, gloves, sanitizers and hand wash to frontline field-level health workers working under block primary health centres in and around Siliguri and under the civic body,” said the secretary of the organisation, Sankar Majumder.
The HNAF had on 22 April handed over such protective items to the Phansidewa block medical officer of heath (BMOH) and also to the Rajganj BMOH on 22 April, while it has also given such equipment to the Matigara, Naxalbari and Kharibari block health centres on 23 April.