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Covid-19 strikes Cooch Behar

Most of the new patients are migrant workers
Passengers, traveling from Baroda, arrive at Howrah Station by a special train during the fourth phase of COVID 19 nationwide lockdown, in Calcutta on Friday, May 29, 2020.

TT Bureau   |   Siliguri   |   Published 29.05.20, 11:44 PM

Cooch Behar, the only district in north Bengal that was free of novel coronavirus patients till Thursday, reported as many as 32 Covid-19 cases on Friday.

Over 40 Covid-19 cases were reported from other parts of north Bengal also on Friday. Of them, 38 cases were recorded in North Dinajpur.

Sources in the state health department said most of the new Covid-19 patients were migrant workers who had returned home recently and those with travel history.

Sources said police were put into service to shift some patients who were at their homes to Covid-19 hospitals.

In Cooch Behar, 17 patients are in Dinhata 2 block, while eight are from Dinhata 1. There are four patients in Sitai and three in Pundibari also.

“The district administration should clarify whether all those who tested positive for Covid-19 are in quarantine. In the past few weeks, hundreds of migrant workers returned to the district. Many of them were sent in home quarantine but there are reports that a section of them are flouting government directives and roaming freely,” said a resident of Dinhata.

In North Dinajpur, the number of coronavirus patients increased to 135 on Friday. This is because 38 new patients — 30 from Raiganj subdivision and eight from Islampur subdivision — were tested positive.

“Most of the patients were asymptomatic and many of them spent around a fortnight without knowing that they had the infection. They have been asked to be in home quarantine. We are monitoring their health status and if any of them show symptoms, they would be shifted to hospitals,” said a health official.

In Darjeeling district, seven persons, including four from the hills, have tested positive for the infection.

Darjeeling district magistrate Ponnambalam S. said Sonada and Kurseong town had recorded two cases each. “The two patients in Sonada have had a history of travel from Lucknow,” said Ponnambalam. The Kurseong patients had travelled from Lucknow or Jalpaiguri, he said.

“All the four patients in the hills were sent to the Covid-19 hospital in Siliguri. They were all in home quarantine,” said Anit Thapa, chairman, board of administrators, GTA.

Of the remaining three patients in the Darjeeling district, two are from Naxalbari block and one from Kharibari.

Malda recorded 10 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of patients to 139 in the district.

Three persons, including two health workers, tested positive for Covid-19 in the Nagrakata block of Jalpaiguri district.

Migrants missing

Around 100 migrant workers who were returning from New Delhi to Malda went missing when their train reached New Jalpaiguri on Friday morning.

“We are yet to receive a report from the district administration of Darjeeling on the number of missing migrants. We suspect they had pulled the chain and got of the train midway,” said a source in the Malda district administration. 

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