A 28-year-old woman lab technician at the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), said sources. NICED is one of the centres examining samples for the virus.
It is not known if the technician is among the 10 new active cases announced by the state government on Tuesday. The number of active cases in the state is now 120 even though according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare the number is higher.
The Centre’s data says there have been 190 positive cases in the state till date, and 36 patients have been discharged, putting the number of active cases at 154. Till date, seven people in West Bengal have died of the disease.
Meanwhile, the medicine wards for men and women at Calcutta Medical College (CMC) were closed. This came a day after the college’s Eden Hospital and a super specialty building were shut down. Three other hospitals and two nursing homes in Kolkata and adjacent Howrah districts were also either partially or completely closed on Monday.
The two CMC wards were closed after the test results of a 57-year-old woman came back positive a day after she died. She had been shifted to hospital from Charnock Hospital, and admitted to the female medicine ward.
Sources in the hospital administration said they were yet to draw up a list of doctors, nurses, patients and staff members who will be quarantined.
On Monday, the Eden Hospital building was closed indefinitely after a woman who gave birth tested positive for COVID-19. Subsequently, 90 people, including 20 medical staff and more than 50 patients, were quarantined. The super speciality building was closed for an indefinite period after a staff member of the public works department staff tested positive for the virus. All hospital employees in the building were quarantined.
“Almost the entire CMC is now closed because of the coronavirus,” said a senior doctor at the hospital. “We should be more alert, and should follow the guidelines properly to avoid this type of closure. Otherwise, we will not be able to give proper treatment to the COVID patients.”
The state government’s health bulletin said 38,496 people have been placed under home surveillance till date. Of them, the monitoring of 18,122 people is over. At present, 439 people are in hospital isolation. Authorities have tested 3,081 samples.
Apart from the NICED, the ICMR has authorised six testing laboratories in West Bengal the SSKM and the School of Tropical Medicine in Kolkata, Midnapore Medical College and Hospital, North Bengal Medical College and Hospital and private facilities, Apollo Hospital and Tata Medical Centre.
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