Till Friday evening, the state reported a total of 744 COVID-19 cases, out of which 572 are active. (Photo Credit: News Nation Photo)
An eight-year-old boy, admitted to the Institute of Child Health (ICH) here with respiratory distress, and a nurse at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19, sources at the hospital said on Friday. At least 10 more nurses at the hospital's neo-natal unit and a ward boy are currently down with fever, the sources said. It is not known whether they are also infected with the coronavirus as their samples have not been collected yet.
The boy, a resident of Karaya Road, was rushed to the hospital on Thursday morning after he complained of uneasiness and breathing problems. His samples were sent for examination shortly thereafter. His father, when contacted by PTI, said the boy had been suffering from breathing problems since birth and had no recent travel history. "Ours is a small family of four and no one is ill. It's surprising and shocking that my son got infected," the father, a bank employee, said.
A senior official at the ICH said the boy's parents were told to take him to MR Bangur hospital on Friday morning after he tested positive for the disease. His nose and throat swabs were sent to the Tata Medical Centre in Rajarhat for examination. The 34-year-old nurse, who was also found to have contracted the disease, is a resident of Jibantala in South 24 Parganas, ICH sources said. The mother of a six-year-old has been working at the neo-natal unit of the ICH. All 10 nurses, who are down with fever, are her colleagues at the unit, sources said.
A nurse at the facility, speaking on the condition of anonymity, complained that medical workers, who chose to stay back at the hospital amid the lockdown, were living in cramped quarters without proper protection. "At least 26 of us are putting up in a cramped room at the hospital. We have not been given any mask or protective gear. We don't know what's in store for us. We are quite scared," she said.
Nobody from the hospital administration was immediately available for comments. Over 35 health workers, including doctors at the Sagar Dutta Medical College and Hospital, have been placed under quarantine after two of their colleagues tested positive for the disease, health department officials said. Meanwhile, Alipurduar district reported its first COVID-19 case on Friday, as four people tested positive.
According to the district's Chief Medical Officer Puran Sharma, all the four patients had recently returned from Delhi, where they had gone for treatment. Upon their return, they were sent to quarantine centres and their samples tested. "We got the reports today and all four were confirmed to be positive. We have placed them and their family members under quarantine," the CMO said.
A woman in South 24 Parganas Canning also tested positive and was sent to M R Bangur Hospital in Kolkata for treatment. Her husband and children have been sent to a quarantine centre, a district health official said. Earlier in the day, the West Bengal government wrote to the Centre, emphasising that there are four red zones in the state and not 10, as mentioned in the list presented during a video conference of the cabinet secretary with representatives of states.
Till Friday evening, the state reported a total of 744 COVID-19 cases, out of which 572 are active. At least 105 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 have died in West Bengal, 33 due to the disease and the rest because of comorbidities, Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha said on Thursday.