Darjeeling district registered a spike in Covid-19 cases today. The district detected 125 cases in the past 24 hours, while cases also went up in the Siliguri Municipal Corporation area with 71, of which 44 are in areas under the district, sources said.

Twenty-one cases have been found in Naxalbari, 20 in Matigara, and one in Kharibari blocks.

Eighteen cases have been found in Darjeeling Municipality, 11 at Sukhia Pokhari, four at Sukna, two in Mirik, three in Pulbazaar and one case in Kurseong Municipality. Sources said 40 patients had been discharged and completed their home isolation today.

86 new cases in Malda

Malda reported 86 new Covid-19 cases in tests conducted in the Malda Medical College and Hospital last night. After a slowdown in the infections in the first week of this month, the number of cases is on the rise again in the district. English Bazaar Municipality area had 19 fresh cases, while KaliachakII had 16, sources said.

Siliguri private hospital penalised

The West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission has fined a private hospital in Siliguri for refusing to admit a patient. The patient had later tested positive for Covid-19 at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH), where he died.

The 64-year-old resident of Aurobinda Pally in Siliguri and a retired officer of a nationalised bank had been taken to the Anandaloke Multi Specialty Hospital for treatment on the night of 26 August, but the hospital allegedly refused to admit him, citing lack of bed, and referred him to the NBMCH.

On 1 September, the man’s daughter, Payel, filed a complaint with the commission about the role of the private health facility.

The hospital was yesterday fined Rs 10,000.

“The amount is too little when compared to the damage in our lives. I, however, hope the nursing home will learn a lesson from this and not repeat the act of refusing a patient,” Ms Saha said today.

In the complaint, she had said that her father had been taken out from the ambulance and taken inside the hospital on that day.

“We are not aware of the kind of medical treatment they administered to my critically ill father, and they refused to admit my father without treatment after taking 30-40 precious minutes,” she said. According to her, his oxygen level had come down to 22 at the hospital.

The medical director of the nursing home, Dr Asoke Kumar Khandelwal, said the incident was unfortunate.

“The patient was brought to the hospital in an ambulance at around 11.30 pm. Since he had been suffering from breathing problems, we had to follow the medical protocol and examine whether it was a case of severe acute respiratory illness or suspected Covid. After that, he was taken to the emergency ward and administered oxygen. The doctors examined him and realized he needed a ventilator, but our five ventilators were preoccupied for critical patients. Therefore, we advised him to be taken to the NBMCH due to his condition. We made all efforts. He had been sent in the ambulance with oxygen support,” Dr Khandelwal said.