Coronavirus cases and deaths rise in West Bengal

Published : March 31, 2020 13:56 IST

A nurse places a mask on a patient during a COVID-19 awareness event at the Siliguri district government hospital. Photo: AFP

The death count and the number of people affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus are steadily rising in West Bengal, with two people dying on a single day, and the total number of infected rising to 26.

On March 30, a middle-aged woman from Howrah district and a 44-year-old woman from Kalimpong town in Darjeeling district passed away from the viral infection.

The woman from Howrah died on March 30 in the afternoon, but it was not until late at night that the cause of death was confirmed. According to reports, she had recently travelled to the Dooars in north Bengal.

Although the spread of the virus in the State has been relatively slow compared to some other States, its rapid increase in the last week of March is a cause for concern. The first case in the State was reported on March 17 and until March 24 the number was below 10, with one casualty on March 23. However, as of the morning of March 31 the number of cases had shot up to 26.

As of March 30, samples had been collected from 519 people suspected of having COVID-19, of which the results of more than 460 were negative. Isolation facilities with more than 1,300 beds have been set up in district hospitals, medical colleges, sub-divisional hospitals and multi-speciality hospitals across the State.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also directed that every district should have at least one hospital dedicated to treating only COVID-19 patients.

“These hospitals should be set apart from a populated place and should have separate entrance and exits for people who have not been infected,” she said at a teleconference meeting with the district heads on March 30.

On a more positive note, the first three COVID-19 patients of the State are well on their way to recovery and are expected to be released from hospital soon.