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Quarantine centre comes up near Siliguri

Meanwhile, a doctor of the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) in Siliguri, who was admitted in the isolation ward on Saturday after he caught cough and cold and ran fever upon returning to Siliguri from Spain via Kolkata, has tested negative for COVID-19.

SNS | Siliguri |

A 100-bed dedicated quarantine facility has come up at Hatighisa, around 25 km from Siliguri, as part of preparedness to combat any eventuality that may surface due to the novel coronavirus. Meanwhile, a doctor of the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) in Siliguri, who was admitted in the isolation ward on Saturday after he caught cough and cold and ran fever upon returning to Siliguri from Spain via Kolkata, has tested negative for COVID-19.

NBMCH Superintendent Dr Kausik Samajdar said that the COVID-19 test report of the doctor was negative and that he would be discharged soon. “Also, there are no new suspected cases so far,” he said. On the other hand, the first such quarantine facility in north Bengal has been set up in a building of the centre of disaster management under the Naxalbari block.

Health officials said the system was arranged at this area in view of its proximity with the Bagdogra airport and being on the outskirts of populated areas of Siliguri. A few more such centres are expected to come up on the outskirts of the town. Health department officials said asymptomatic persons with history of travel to or who has lived in a coronavirus- affected country (China, South Korea, Italy, Germany, France and Spain), or anyone who has been in contact with someone suffering from coronavirus will be compulsorily quarantined.

“Government doctors and nursing staff will monitor their health condition regularly for the next 14 days. If the person develops any symptoms of the coronavirus during this period, he/she will be shifted to the isolation ward,” the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Darjeeling district, Dr Pralay Acharya, said. Siliguri animal park on alert Meanwhile, the West Bengal Zoo authorities are planning to start thermal screening of visitors at Bengal Safari: North Bengal Wild Animal Park in Siliguri to screen visitors.

Officials, however, said there has been no impact on the footfall in the park amidst the Covid-19 scare. Around 700-800 visitors on average turn up daily at the park. “There are plans to install thermal screeners at the entry point of the park to screen visitors soon. For foreign nationals, it is mandatory to produce medical reports.

However, in the recent past, no foreigner has visited the park,” said range officer of the park, Dipak Rasaily. As part of precautionary measures, the toy train and 10 buses at the Park are also being disinfected with sanitisers. The process, which used to be done once a day earlier, is now being done up to three times a day, officials said. The frontline staff at ticket counters and security personnel, who contact visitors, are using gloves and facial masks.