Senior govt doctor, another man die of COVID-19 in Bengal

Kolkata, Apr 26 (PTI) A senior government doctor involved in the fight against COVID-19 and a 34-year-old man, both diagnosed with the disease, died at a hospital here on Sunday, sources at the facility said.

Sixty-year-old Dr Biplab Kanti Dasgupta, posted as assistant director health services (equipment and stores), was initially admitted to Beliaghata Infectious Diseases Hospital and later shifted to a private hospital in Salt Lake on April 18, where he succumbed to the disease.

'After he tested positive for COVID-19, he was first taken to Beliaghata ID Hospital and then to the private hospital in Salt Lake. The doctor was suffering from respiratory distress and other co-morbidities and had been on ventilator since he was admitted to the hospital. He died at 1.20 am on Sunday,' sources told PTI.

Expressing 'pain' at his death and extending condolence to the family of the doctor, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said his contribution to fighting the COVID-19 outbreak would encourage others.

'We have lost Dr Biplab Kanti Dasgupta, Assistant Director, Health Services, West Bengal in the early hours of today. He was Assistant Director of Health Services, Central Medical Stores. We are deeply pained with his untimely demise,' Banerjee tweeted.

'His sacrifice for the cause of ailing humanity will ever be in our hearts and will make our COVID warriors fight the deadly virus with even greater determination. My heartfelt condolence to Dr Dasgupta's bereaved family members and colleagues,' she added.

Another patient from the city's Garden Reach area, who had tested positive for the disease earlier in the week, died around 7 am at the same facility.

'The 34-year-old man was admitted to the hospital on April 23. He, too, had breathing problems and was put on ventilator. He died today morning,' they added.

After several calls made to senior government officials for more information on the two fatalities went unanswered, an official insisting that he not be named, said, 'The reason behind the death of the ADHS is still under investigation.' Thus West Bengal registered two deaths taking the toll to 20, the bulletin issued by the state health department later on Sunday evening said.

It also mentioned that at least 38 COVID-19 cases were reported from different parts of the state in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of active cases to 463.

As no one was discharged from any hospital, the number of people who recovered from the disease in West Bengal remained at 105, as per the bulletin.

In the last 24 hours, 1,013 samples have been tested in West Bengal, while the total number of tests conducted in the state so far is 10,893, it added.

A total of 579 people have been infected with the disease in West Bengal so far.

According to the Union health ministry, the number of COVID-19-stricken patients in the state stands at 612.

The state government has constituted an audit committee of doctors which ascertains whether a patient of COVID-19 has died because of the disease or a pre-existing ailment. PTI SCH SOM KJ