Monday, 30th October 2017

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Woman gives in after 3 hours, gets off bus to get herself tested for coronavirus in Calcutta

The woman has been admitted to an isolation ward in Beleghata hospital

  • Published 27.03.20, 4:19 AM
  • Updated 27.03.20, 12:24 PM
  • 2 mins read
The woman beside the Swasthya Bhavan ambulance that took her to MR Bangur Hospital. Picture by Pradip Sanyal

A 38-year-old woman with persistent cough stayed put on a state bus for over three hours at the Beleghata hospital for infectious diseases on Thursday after the driver reached the hospital to get her tested for the coronavirus.

The South Bengal State Transport Corporation bus had brought the woman from Barakar near Asansol to Calcutta on the request of police there. The driver had left Barakar with the woman and the conductor around 5am, an SBSTC official said in Calcutta.

The bus had reached Barakar from Howrah early on Thursday with more than 100 labourers who had been stranded at Howrah station the night before.

“As the bus was preparing to return, a police team in Barakar requested the driver to ferry the woman to Calcutta. She was the lone passenger and she kept coughing all throughout,” the SBSTC official said.

After reaching the SBSTC depot Esplanade, the driver alerted the police about the woman and that she had refused to meet a doctor.

An officer from Maidan police station apparently asked the driver to take her to the Beleghata hospital as there was no ambulance at their disposal. Not sure what to do, the driver informed the depot manager in Belghoria and drove the bus to the hospital around 9.45am.

At the hospital, employees in protective gear tried to persuade her to get off the bus but she refused.

“She kept saying her health was fine and that there was no need for any test,” said a hospital official. “We didn’t know what to do.”

The police intervened after the hospital authorities sought their help. She stepped off the bus, which had been sanitised from outside by then, around 1.30pm. She was told that she needed to undergo a preliminary test for a few minutes and if the doctors were satisfied, she would be allowed to go home immediately.

“A team of doctors checked on her and concluded she had to undergo further tests,” an officer said.

An ambulance meant for suspected coronavirus patients sent by Swasthya Bhavan officials took her to MR Bangur Hospital.

The woman has been admitted to an isolation ward in the hospital after doctors realised it was necessary to keep her in isolation, according to late evening reports.

“We have alerted her family members in Bosepukur, Kasba,” a doctor at the hospital said. “The results should come by early Friday.”