8-month-old among 24 fresh COVID-19 cases in Bihar; tally now 574

Patna, May 8 (PTI) A boy from Nepal and an eight-month-old girl were among 24 people who tested positive for COVID-19 in Bihar on Friday, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 574 in the state, a top Health department official said.

Migrants comprised a significant proportion of those testing positive on the day which marked the contagion spreading to Khagaria, Saharsa and Supaul districts, leaving only two of the states 38 districts unaffected.

According to Principal Secretary, Health, Sanjay Kumar, Samastipur reported the maximum number of six cases, all of them men aged between 35 and 50 and hailing from two different blocks under Rosera sub-division.

Over 10 crore people in 20 districts have been covered as part of a door-to-door screening conducted on the pattern of the Pulse Polio campaign, the principal secretary said.

Samastipur District Magistrate Shashank Shubhankar said they had all recently come back from Kolkata and following the spurt in cases, the OPD at the sub-divisional hospital has been shut down as a precautionary measure.

Four men in their 20s and 30s tested positive in Khagaria and DM Alok Ranjan Ghosh said they were all migrant labourers, three of whom had returned from Delhi a few days back while one had returned from Rajasthan.

Ghosh added that all of them had been kept at quarantine centres in the district upon their arrival and none had shown any symptoms.

The principal secretary also stated that Saharsa has reported its first two cases, both aged 13, while a 16-year-old patient is from Supaul.

All the three boys are at a quarantine centre in Saharsa where, DM Kaushal Kumar said, they had arrived on Wednesday by a train carrying about 1,000 people from Nandurbar district in Maharashtra.

He said the boys were among 177 minors who had been studying at a Madarsa in a Maharashtra town and their samples were sent for testing as they were found to be symptomatic during thermal screening.

Four fresh cases were reported from Darbhanga, and according to District Magistrate Thyagarajan, three of them had come from Howrah in West Bengal by a private vehicle earlier this week while the fourth, a 60-year-old woman, caught the contagion from a person having previously tested positive.

The baby girl testing positive was from East Champaran district and her infection trail was being ascertained. Quite a few COVID-19 patients in the state, across different districts, have been less than a year old.

Besides, one case each was reported from Nawada, Nalanda, Begusarai, Banka, Bhagalpur and Katihar districts, the principal secretary said.

On the positive side, the state continued with a fine recovery rate. Altogether 49 patients recovered in the last 24 hours and the total number of such cases till date was 267, the state health department said.

Munger has accounted for the most number of 102 cases of which one has died while 52 were still active. Buxar (56), Rohtas (54) and Patna (46) are among the other badly affected districts.

Five persons -- one each from Munger, Vaishali, East Champaran, Sitamarhi and Rohtas -- have died. All the deceased persons were males and barring the 70-year-old from Rohtas, all were under 60 years of age with underlying medical conditions.

According to the state health department's analysis of 550 cases reported till Thursday, as many as 445 were asymptomatic. More than 400 were under 40 years of age. Over 60 per cent of patients were male.

The number of samples tested so far, at seven facilities in Patna, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga, was 30,320. PTI NAC RG CK