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Monitor lizard scare

Bethuadahari, Nov. 21: A monitor lizard entered a bathroom at a Nadia hospital last evening and stayed there for more than 24 hours, creating panic among patients and forcing many of them to walk to another bathroom in an adjoining ward.

The relative of a patient first saw the 3ft-long lizard inside the bathroom of the male ward of the single-storey Bethuadahari block hospital around 7 last evening when he went to wash his hands. The hospital is 2km from the Bethuadahari forest.

The man rushed out of the bathroom and informed the authorities. The 20-odd patients and their relatives also spoke to the on-duty nurse. Some relatives tried to shoo away the reptile but it did not budge.

“We tried to scare away the lizard by shouting. A broom was brought but everybody was too scared to go near the reptile,” said Latif Sheikh, the relative of another patient.

Latif said the nurse shut the door of the bathroom from outside and advised the patients to use the bathroom in a room adjoining the male ward.

“We were forced to walk to that bathroom throughout last night and today,” said Akhiluddin Sheikh, 60, who is receiving treatment for abdominal cramps.

Many patients did not dare get off their beds at night, hospital sources said. “Even though the door of the bathroom was closed, many patients did not get off their beds till morning,” a source said.

Ward boys tried to drive out the lizard throughout the day but failed. Late tonight, block medical officer Jibesh Byne said the animal had gone away on its own. “When I heard about the lizard last night, I instructed the hospital employees to drive it away. When I enquired tonight, I was told that the lizard had gone,” Byne said.

District forest officials said the hospital authorities did not inform them about the lizard. “Had they told us, we would have captured it and released it into the forest,” an official said.

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