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11 new cases in Bengal

Of the 11 new patients, 6 were from the family of a woman in Kalimpong who had died 2 days ago

By Pranesh Sarkar in Calcutta
  • Published 5.04.20, 3:38 AM
  • Updated 5.04.20, 3:38 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Workers stitch preventive suits at a workshop the view of the coronavirus pandemic, in Howrah district of West Bengal, Saturday, April 4, 2020. (PTI)

Bengal chief secretary Rajiva Sinha on Saturday said 11 Covid-19 cases had been reported in the state over the past 24 hours, taking the number of active cases to 49. No death was reported during this period.

“We had 11 more positive cases in the past 24 hours in the state and with these, the number of active cases reached 49.… The number of deaths remain at three as zero deaths were reported in the past 24 hours,” Sinha said.

Of the 11 new patients, the chief secretary said six were from the family of a woman in Kalimpong who had died two days ago. The remaining five were from various other places.

“Giving the history of every patient is not possible in such a situation. You should be more concerned whether proper tracking (of each positive case) is being done here. I can tell you that we are tracking each and every case,” Sinha told reporters in response to a question.

Sinha cited an example from East Midnapore, where a person working at Haldia Port had tested positive recently. The patient was shifted to a Covid-19 hospital while 10 others, including several Haldia Port officials, were sent to government quarantine centres in Haldia as they had come in contact with the person.

“I assure you that if a person tests positive, he is taken to a Covid-19 hospital and all his contacts are shifted to government quarantine centres,” the chief secretary said.

Sinha said an expert committee was being set up to audit the deaths of those Covid-19 patients who had co-morbidities (concurrent health disorders).

“As in the case of dengue (outbreaks), the expert committee will audit each death where there was a co-morbidity.… If the expert committee is satisfied that the patient died of the coronavirus infection (and not the other concurrent disease or diseases), the name will be added to the list of Covid-19 deaths,” the chief secretary said.

He dismissed allegations that there was an attempt to hide the true number of coronavirus cases or fatalities.

Sinha said the state government had cleared any confusion about the guidelines for isolation wards in hospitals, both government and private.

“We made it clear that just keeping a gap of 2 to 3 metres between beds is not enough. It has to be ensured that the doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and others working in the isolation wards do not work elsewhere. If any patient tests positive, all the doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and others (who have attended to the patient) need to be sent to quarantine facilities,” he said.

The state government is working to strengthen the facilities to fight the spread of Covid-19, he said. “We have added 84 government quarantine centres across the state in the past 24 hours, taking the number to 516 from 432,” Sinha said.

He added that 1,040 Covid-19 tests had been conducted so far.

Seven Covid-19 test centres are operating in the state. They include five government facilities -- NICED, SSKM Hospital, North Bengal Medical College, Midnapore Medical College and the School of Tropical Medicine. Two private healthcare establishments -- Apollo Hospitals and Tata Medical Centre -– are also on the list.