Coronavirus: 3 deaths in 24 hrs in Bengal, one patient was kept in general ward

Atri Mitra
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Homeless people at a make-shift government shelter home in Kolkata on Tuesday, the seventh day of the 21-day nationwide lockdown. (PTI)

The death of a 48-year-old woman afflicted by coronavirus in the general ward of a Howrah hospital on late Monday night led to panic with 29 hospital staff members being quarantined.

By late Tuesday night, two more coronavirus patients died - a 52-year-old man in Howrah and a 62-year-old man in Kolkata.

With three more deaths in the last 24 hours, the totak number of fatalities from coronavirus jumped to five in West Bengal where till Tuesday, 37 people have tested positive for the virus.

According to sources in the state health department, the woman, a resident of Salkia in Howrah, had gone on a family vacation to north Bengal with family and friends earlier this month. She returned to Howrah on March 13 and a week after she complained of fever. However, the family took her to a nearby government hospital nine days later on March 29, when she complained of respiratory problem.

The same day, health officials said, she was referred to Howrah General Hospital and admitted to general female ward.

“After her condition deteriorated on Monday evening, she was shifted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital, and later in the night she died. After her death, her swab results came that showed that she was infected by coronavirus,” a health official on the condition of anonymity said, adding that the woman had no recent history of foreign travel.

“Today morning, some nurses and other hospital staff agitated after they came to know that the woman patient had tested positive for coronavirus. Since the patient was admitted in the general female ward and no necessary precaution and isolation were undertaken, they were angry at the hospital administration,” a staff member of the government hospital said.

Sources in the state Health Department said that an investigation will be ordered into the lapses on the part of the hospital.

Following the test results, the district administration and health officials on Tuesday, put four of her family members under quarantine at Satyabala ID Hospital. “The 20-odd people who had accompanied her during the north Bengal trip have also been traced and kept under home quarantine. Apart from them, 29 nurses and paramedical staff of Howrah General Hospital have been quarantined - 14 at Belur Quarntine Centre and remaining 15 in their homes. The woman’s home and the hospital is also being sanitised,” said a health department official.