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North Bengal sees spike in Covid-19 cases

The health department has, meanwhile, demanded two new TrueNat machines for the district that will conduct primary Covid tests.

Statesman News Service | Siliguri |

North Bengal saw another spike in the number of Covid- 19 cases as it reported at least 59 fresh patients in the past 24 hours. Six cases were detected in the Siliguri Sub Division today, while Cooch Behar district reported 37, South Dinajpur nine and Malda two cases.

Among the cases in Siliguri is a Border Security Force inspector, a 16-year-old boy, a pregnant woman and a technician of Dr Chhang’s (Covid) hospital in Siliguri. Two patients admitted with coronavirus symptoms in the Desun Hospital tested positive for the first time in the hospital meant to treat suspected patients.

Health department officials said two patients—the boy from Naxalbari block was admitted in Desun Hospital on 5 May, while a 20-year-old resident of Phanisidewa block was admitted there on 28 May. Both complained of respiratory problems and fever. A 24-year-old pregnant woman was admitted in the isolation ward of the North Bengal Medical College and Hopistal (NBMCH) where she tested positive for Covid-19 today.

Another patient is a oneyear- old child from Ward 34 in Siliguri, whose family members had a travel history of Maharashtra. BSF man tests positive: An Inspector of the Border Security Force (BSF) at the North Bengal Frontier Headquarters at Kadamtala in Siliguri has also tested positive for Covid-19, the first case at the headquarters.

The Inspector was tested after he complained of sore throat. He is now admitted in the 100-bed health facility on the BSF premises at Kadamtala. Around 40 personnel, including those of the ranks of inspectors, subinspectors and constables, who had come in contact with him, have been quarantined.

“The Inspector was incharge of accommodation, food and other logistics for personnel who returned from leave after the enforcement of the lockdown,” said the deputy inspector general at the North Bengal Frontier Headquarters, Rajiv Ranjan Sharma. “He was immediately admitted in the hospital of the BSF at Kadamtala and 40 personnel have been quarantined,” he added.

It is learnt that around 500 BSF personnel posted in different areas under the North Bengal Frontier Headquarters have also been quarantined upon their arrival from leave. More quarantine centres: With mounting pressure of migrant workers and people returning from other states, the state government has decided to set up more quarantine facilities in the Siliguri Sub Division.

State tourism minister Guatam Deb said at least one each quarantine centre will come up under every gram panchayat. There are 22 GPs in the sub-division. On protests put up by locals at different areas over plans to acquire educational institutions for quarantine centres, Mr Deb appealed to people to be more humane.

It is learnt that 54 educational institutions have been identified as quarantine facilities. 9 cases in South Dinajpur: In South Dinajpur, nine new Covid cases were detected, taking the total number of patients to 16 in the district. Officials said all of them are migrant workers who returned to the district recently.

The fresh cases are from two blocks of Harirampur and Balurghat. The health department has, meanwhile, demanded two new TrueNat machines for the district that will conduct primary Covid tests.

“We have requested the state Health Department for the machines and we are hoping we will receive one for the Gangarampur hospital within a few days,” said the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr Sukumar Dey. In Malda, two more coronavirus cases were found among migrants last night. The two are from Eklakhi in Gazole and Faribari in Habibpur block.

Meanwhile, a worker, Buddhu Parihar, 50, who had been working in Rajasthan, died on his way home in the train. The police this morning sent the body for autopsy.

The brother-in-law of the deceased, Sarju Das, travelling with him, returned home and said they both boarded a Shramik Special train from Lalkot station in Rajasthan on 29 May, but that Parihar died near the Mughalsarai station. Other workers travelling in the train said the train did not halt in between despite the death.

Five in Alipurduar: Alipurduar district also reported five more positive cases, all returnees, who were earlier sent to the Birpara quarantine centre. “Five returnees at the Birpara quarantine centre tested positive on 30-05-2020. All the five, including one female, have been admitted in the Covid hospital in Siliguri,”

Alipurduar CMOH Dr Puran Sharma said. IDA distributes food: The West Bengal state branch of the Indian Dental Association (IDA) has distributed food among 300 pedestrians at Sealdah and adjacent areas in Kolkata. The branch has been feeding people in distress since 30 April. Branch secretary Dr Raju Biswas said they have also distributed PPE, masks, and santisisers even to police personnel. “This is a small tribute to the silent warriors of society,” Dr Biswas said.