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Darjeeling hills detect first four Covid cases

Two from Sonada and two from Kurseong had recent travel history; their samples were collected on 18 May in Kurseong Sub-Divisional Hospital.

Statesman News Service | Siliguri |

The hills of Darjeeling district reported their first four COVID-19 cases today. Test reports that came in today of throat swab samples taken 11 days ago showed a woman and a girl from Sonada and two men in Kurseong carrying the virus.

It is learnt that the samples were collected on 18 May in the Kurseong Sub-Divisional Hospital after the four, among the many others, returned to the hills from various other places in the country.

Chairman of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), Anit Thapa, said all the four had travel histories.

“One person from Monteviet Road in Kurseong had a travel history to Jalpaiguri, from where he had come here on his motorcycle,” Mr Thapa said in Kurseong today.

It is learnt that the man is not a permanent resident of Kurseong but had been working in a finance company in the town.

He originally hails from Jalpaiguri, it is learnt.Another man is a resident of St Mary’s Hill in Kurseong and he had gone to Lucknow in a private vehicle to bring back his son who was stranded there.

“In the Sonada case, both the woman and the 15-year old girl had returned to the hills from Uttar Pradesh in a private vehicle,” Mr Thapa said.

All the four persons have been admitted in the COVID Hospital at Matigara in Siliguri, according to the Patient Welfare Committee Chairman of the Kurseong subdivisional Hospital, Binny Sharma.

Two primary contacts of the man from St Mary’s Hill have been sent to a quarantine centre at the Pathasathi Motel in Simulbarie in the plains, it is learnt.

Four primary contacts of the Kurseong town case have also been sent in institutional quarantine, while another four who had come in contact with the Sonada patients, have been sent to quarantine centres in Darjeeling.

Mr Thapa further said that all the areas at the three places have been disinfected with the help of the health department and others concerned.

“People should not panic. We have to fight this together as we also learn to live with Covid-19,” Mr Thapa said.

Later, Mr Thapa and Mr Sharma held a meeting with health and administrative officials in Kurseong and discussed plans ahead. On the other hand, a 52-year-old man of Roy Pally under the Kharibari Block in the plains has also tested positive for the virus.

Mr Roy, a cancer survivor, had travelled with a cancer patient to Mumbai and returned in an ambulance with her.

The 59-year-old cancer patient also tested positive for Covid-19 on 26 May.

“Both were quarantined at Batasi near Siliguri upon their arrival from Mumbai,” sources said.

Six family members of the persons have been sent for quarantine so far, while the health department said it has started tracing other contacts.

Meanwhile, another resident of Kharabri block was found Covid-19 positive today after he came in contact with a positive patient of the area recently.

In North Dinajpur district, people are panic-stricken after 39 fresh cases were detected there in the last 24 hours.

Thirty of them are residents of areas under Raiganj, Itahar, Hemtabad and Karandighi blocks, while the remaining nine are residents of Islampur, Goalpokhar and Chopra areas, sources said.

Ninety-nine cases have been found in the district in the past three days, while the total tally is 150 cases. Most of the patients are migrant workers it is learnt.

Concerns among people also rose after two trains from Noida in Uttar Pradesh reached Raiganj station with around 400 migrant workers this afternoon.

On the other hand, around 100 others, including 40 students, reached the Aluabari station in Islampur from Kanpur and Saharanpur in UP today.

Chief Medical Officer of Health of North Dinajpur district Dr Rabindranath Pradhan said he was not authorised to comment on COVID-related issues.

In Malda, 10 more Covid cases were detected last night, taking the tally there to 141 cases. According to sources at the Malda Medical College and Hospital where the samples were tested, the fresh cases are from one case each from Manikchak and English Bazaar and a case each from Gazole, Ratua I, Chanchal I and Kaliachak I blocks. One of the 10 persons is a nurse from Gazole working in the covid-19 hospital in Narayanpur under the Malda police station, it is learnt.