Maharashtra: 2 more deaths, private doctor tests positive

Tabassum Barnagarwala
coronavirus, coronavirus outbreak, coronavirus infection, private doctor tests positive, maharashtra coronavirus cases, coronavirus news, indian express

In Mumbai, BMC has increased the number of isolation beds from 1,030 to 2,000 after roping in private hospitals. (Representational Photo)

Two women infected with COVID-19 passed away in the last 48 hours, taking the death toll in the state to five. Thursday saw eight new cases being reported and the number of infected people reaching 130.

Samples of a 65-year-old woman from a Deonar chawl tested positive on Wednesday night after she passed away at a Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) hospital. She suffered a heart attack and acute respiratory distress syndrome. She is the fourth person to die from COVID-19 in Maharashtra.

Officials said that while the woman had no foreign travel history, her son-in-law had recently returned from Dubai and met her before travelling to Bangalore. “He remains out of reach, we don’t know if he has also been infected,” said Dr Balasaheb Sonawane, medical officer from Navi Mumbai. Seven close contacts of the woman have been isolated and their samples sent for testing. The senior citizen lived in a chawl in a semi slum area of Deonar. When she suffered breathlessness and fever, her family first rushed her to Tandon hospital. There, a doctor referred her to Kasturba Hospital for COVID-19 testing, but the family instead took her to DY Patil hospital in Navi Mumbai. Sonawane said. “In DY Patil hospital, her condition became critical. She was then shifted to NMMC hospital in Vashi,” said Annasaheb Misal, NMMC Commissioner.

She passed away on March 24 at 11.30 pm. Her sample had been sent to Kasturba Hospital by then and it came positive in a day.

“We have disinfected the chawl area. Almost all neighbours are observing quarantine at home,” said Sudhanshu Dwivedi, ward commissioner. Dwivedi added that the body was sealed in a plastic bag, disinfected with sodium hypochlorite, cleaned with bleaching powder and then buried in Deonar cemetery on Wednesday.

Another 65-year-old woman died at Kasturba Hospital on Thursday, three days after getting admitted. She suffered from fever, breathlessness and had a history of diabetes and hypertension. She suffered acute respiratory distress on Thursday evening. She served food on a stall in Prabhadevi. A ward officer said she is suspected to have caught the infection from one of her customers from India Bulls. We have tested six of her family members. Results are awaited,” a civic official said.

Among the new cases reported on Thursday, a private doctor in Mumbai tested positive. He had come in contact with a patient who had tested positive. He consulted a few more patients after that. A state official said all the patients are being tracked.

This is the first case of a healthcare provider contracting COVID-19 from a patient in Maharashtra. “We are waiting for a confirmatory test for the doctor,” said Dr Daksha Shah, deputy executive health officer.
A Sindhudurg native also tested positive on Thursday. District officials suspect the native travelled in a train with an infected patient. The process of tracing close contacts is underway. In Nagpur, another person tested positive, and is suspected to have made a train journey to Delhi. While three cases were reported from Sangli and one for Kolhapur, Pune also reported a new case. In Pune, a 40-year-old man from Sahkarnagar tested positive. He was being treated for liver disease and was admitted in a hospital on March 20. His was tested after he turned breathless on Thursday. He is at present on ventilator support.

In Mumbai, BMC has increased the number of isolation beds from 1,030 to 2,000 after roping in private hospitals.