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Abandoned baby in Salt Lake

A newborn baby wrapped in a plastic sheet was spotted near a roadside bush in Salt Lake’s KB Block on Wednesday morning.

The sweeper who spotted the body alerted morning walkers, who in turn got in touch with police. The cops took the child to Bidhannagar Subdivisional Hospital. Doctors at the hospital said the baby, a premature boy, was weak and running a temperature.

“Around 7am, a Bidhannagar Municipality sweeper spotted the boy. The whole body, except the head, was wrapped in a black plastic sheet. The sweeper showed presence of mind and alerted morning walkers, some of whom called Bidhannagar South police station from their mobile phones,” said an officer of the police station.

The cops rushed to the spot, fetched a piece of dry cloth from a resident and took the infant to hospital.

The boy, doctors said, was born either on Tuesday or Wednesday.

“The baby is premature, born most probably in the seventh month of pregnancy. It is underweight, weighing just 1.8kg. He has fever and is suffering from respiratory distress, which may have been caused by exposure to the elements on a chilly morning,” said Arup Kumar Pal, a doctor at the hospital.

The normal weight of a newborn baby varies between 2.5kg and 3.5kg, according to Apurba Ghosh, director, Institute of Child Health.

Pal said it was evident from the state of the child’s health that his mother had been suffering from malnutrition during pregnancy.

If the baby’s parents cannot be traced, the case will be referred to the child welfare committee of the state government.

The police said they were talking to hospital and nursing home authorities in the area, as well as shanty-dwellers in the added areas of Salt Lake, in an attempt to establish the identity of the child’s parents.