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Concern, as one more dies in Siliguri

Mr Thapa also said that they would limit the time in the evenings to allow migrants to enter through the GTA check points.

Statesman News Service | Siliguri |

One more patient undergoing treatment for suspected Covid19-symptoms died in Siliguri today.

The 48-year-old man from Mongpo in Kalimpong district was referred by the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) to Desun Hospital, taken over by the state government for people suffering from severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) and influenza-like illness (ILI).

He was admitted there yesterday. Health department officials, however, said they have sent his throat swab samples for Covid-19 tests and that reports are awaited. Family members said the man used to run a medicine shop in Mongpo and was suffering from kidney ailments.

He would supply medicines to workers at the cinchona plantation.

Four persons, including a woman, had also died between 10 and 11 May at the Desun Hospital, while they were all tested negative for Covid-19.

However, the frequent deaths at the health facility have raised questions on the treatment process at the health facility. One more case in N Dinajpur:North Dinajpur reported one more COVID case in a migrant worker in Aljhanda village under the Itahar police station today.

Today’s case takes the number of positive cases in the district to six.

Swab tests for prison inmates: Swab tests for inmates in some correctional homes in north Bengal have started. The officer on special duty for Covid-19 in north Bengal, Dr Susanta Kumar Roy, said the move will help them get an idea of the situation.

Sources at the Siliguri Special Correctional Home, however, said no such step had been taken despite their requests to the Darjeeling district administration and the health department. “Tests for inmates and staff of the Siliguri Special Correctional Home are a must. This apart, three under-trials who are citizens of Nepal have been granted bail by the court a few days ago, and now the authority concerned will take steps and see if they can be sent to their country,” the sources said.

The Siliguri Home remains overcrowded, though its actual capacity is 200. Sources said 392 inmates are lodged in the home (371 male, 21 female), while there are three children too. GTA swab collection plans: Meanwhile, in Darjeeling, the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) has decided to collect throat swab samples for Covid tests at check points set up at the entry points to the hills for those people who were now being brought back from several other places.

With the government providing special trains for people to return back home, people hailing from the GTA area have also started to return, while some are returning by buses and other vehicles too.

The stranded are being brought till Siliguri, after which the GTA is providing them with transport to take them to their respective places.“We will start swab tests for people coming from outside at our checkpoints at Simulbari and Chitrey. Later on, we plan to start the same in our other check points too,” said GTA chairman Anit Thapa.“People coming from the red zone have to be kept at quarantine centres, and we are trying to keep all of them in such centres first and then sent them home after their test results come. However, we also have to see how much load our different quarantine centres can take,” he added.

Mr Thapa also said that they would limit the time in the evenings to allow migrants to enter through the GTA check points.

“We will come up with a system that a person coming from outside can stay in a place for one night if they reach here late in the evening,” he said.

The GTA chairman also appealed to the people to cooperate and understand that even though such relaxations had been given by the government, the threat of Covid-19 was not yet over and that they themselves had to be cautious. Minister seeks funds for tourism sector:In Alipurduar, state tourism minister Gautam Deb demanded that the Centre allot funds to help the lockdown-hit tourism sector in the state. He further appreciated the role of the district administration and the district health department in tackling Covid-19.

Minister Deb today held an administrative meeting at Dooarskanya, the Alipurduar district administrative building, today. He also visited Ayush Hospital, which is a SARI-level and ILI hospital in Alipurduar district.Alipurduar DM Surendra Kumar Meena, Superintendent of Police Amitava Maity and health officials attended the meeting, it is learnt.

“The central government should allot huge amount of funds to compensate for the losses in the state tourism sector. We will submit a detailed report of the situation to our chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee soon,” Mr Deb said.