Nurses in Pune buy vegetables and other essentials, a day before the Janata Curfew initiative. (Express photo: Pavan Khengre)
A 41-year-old anganwadi worker from Pune in Maharashtra and a 57-year old man from Dumdum in West Bengal, both of whom do not have a history of overseas travel, have tested positive for Covid-19. Another four-and-a-half-year-old girl – who came from Bihar with her parents to Jorhat on March 19 – tested positive for coronavirus in Assam on Saturday in what could be the state’s first detected case. Follow Janata curfew LIVE Updates
Both the anganwadi worker and the Dumdum patient have neither traveled abroad nor are so far known to have had any contact with infected foreign travelers. A Central government team is in Pune to investigate the case of the anganwadi worker.
The anganwadi worker, admitted in a private hospital Pune, is reported to have tested positive of the disease (Covid-19) but the district administration said her test result would be confirmed only after the Central team makes an assessment. Follow Coronavirus outbreak LIVE updates
"We are not confirming yet if she is a first-contact case (having been infected through someone who travelled abroad) or a case of community spread of the virus. The government of India team from Delhi is examining her and assessing the case. We have provided them all the information and once they finalise the assessment, we will share her result," Deepak Mhaisekar, Divisional Commissioner of Pune, said.
The Pune woman was admitted in a private hospital on March 16 after she complained of breathlessness and did not recover despite the efforts of a local medical practitioner. The hospital sent her swab to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) to check for possible infection with H1N1 virus. That turned out to be negative, but NIV, these days is checking all such samples for the novel coronavirus as well. Her sample turned out to be positive for SARS-CoV2.
The man from Dumdum was admitted at a private hospital on March 16 with acute respiratory distress syndrome and was put on ventilator. His samples were sent to NICED and SSKM Hospital, one of which was positive for Covid-19. Another sample was sent on March 21 which also turned out to be positive. Sources in the private hospital said the patient -- currently in isolation ICU -- did not have a history of travel aboard according to his family.
Of the Pune anganwadi worker, the Divisional Commissioner of the city said, “All I can say at the moment is that this person has tested positive and we have first and second contacts up to 100 people, including a taxi driver who was used by a positive patient. We have sent the driver to the Naidu hospital.”
At the Bharati hospital where she is being treated, medical director Dr Sanjay Lalwani said samples of her immediate ten contacts were sent to NIV to rule out Covid-19. “The persons have not shown any symptoms but they have been directed to observe home quarantine. These include the woman’s husband, two children, mother, and a few other immediate relatives,” he said. The swabs of four doctors who she had contacted have also been sent for further tests at NIV.
Meanwhile, another 25-year-old man who returned from the United Kingdom and Ireland, tested positive for the virus late on Friday night. There are now 23 positive cases in Pune.
In West Bengal, besides the Dumdum person, another 23-year old woman who returned to Kolkata from Scotland Thursday tested positive for Covid-19, the third and fourth case in the state in four days. The woman, a resident of Habra in North 24 Parganas, was admitted at the Infectious Disease Hospital at Beleghata in Kolkata Thursday night for fever. The result of her samples sent for testing turned out to be positive Friday night, according to the state health department.
The department put her family under home quarantine Friday morning and is now trying to trace people she came in contact with in the flight, and while standing in the queue at ID Hospital.
Meanwhile, the family of the four-and-a-half-year-old girl, which came to Jorhat from Bihar, has been put in the isolation ward of the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital . “ASHA, ANM and MPW visited the family on March 20 and brought them to JMCH as the girl exhibited symptoms. A sample was taken and tested and today evening the result had come,” the health official said.
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