West Bengal: Army officer among three new COVID-19 cases

Express News Service
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Shut chemist shops outside Calcutta Medical College on Sunday. (Express photo: Partha Paul)

An Indian Army doctor was among three men to test positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) here on Sunday, taking the total in the state to 21.

State Health Department officials said the 51-year-old doctor, an anaesthetist, is of colonel rank, and posted at the Command Hospital in the city. He had travelled to Delhi on March 10, and visited an Army facility near the national capital.

A junior commissioned officer posted in Dehradun also tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday, and had travelled to the same facility.

The doctor returned to Kolkata on March 17, and has had fever since March 24. He was admitted to the Command Hospital on Saturday after complaining of acute respiratory problems. The government is now trying to track down the people with whom he came in contact.

Another 66-year-old man who tested positive is in a private hospital. The government does not have details of the places he had been to before being admitted to the medical facility, or the people with whom he came in contact. Health officials are now collecting these details.

The third patient is a 59-year-old from the town of Sheoraphuli in Hooghly, and has been admitted to a private hospital here. He has been suffering from fever since March 16, and also has health problems such as diabetes and hypertension. Though officials said he does not have a history of travelling abroad, they added that he used to go to Durgapur regularly.

“Till date samples were collected from 457 suspects for COVID-19 tests and results of 417 people were negative,” the health department said in its daily bulletin. “Samples from 21 people have come as positive till now. Results of 19 samples are awaited. The health condition of all persons under surveillance is stable, including the patients admitted in isolation.”

Of the 18 other patients, one is in a private hospital here, two women are in Egra Government Hospital in Purba Medinipur district, one patient is in North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, and 14 are in Beleghata ID hospital here.

Meanwhile, roads remained deserted on the fifth day of the nationwide lockdown imposed by the Centre. Markets were open, but there were not many customers. In many places, the police and local organisations helped elderly people get essential items.