Coronavirus in West Bengal: Another 345 under lens; 986 in home isolation – Times of India

Kolkata News
KOLKATA: As many as 345 people in the state were added to the list of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) suspects and advised to be put in home isolation on Tuesday. So far, there has been no positive case of Covid-19 in the state. All the swab samples collected from Covid-19 suspects in West Bengal tested negative. But the state health department is on its toes and is continuously monitoring 986 persons kept in home isolation, many of them from Kolkata.
With increasing number of people returning home from places affected by the virus, the health department has scaled up the number of isolation beds in hospitals, taking more such facilities into the fold.

“Though all 28 samples collected from suspects so far have tested negative for the virus, we are on our toes with strict surveillance,” said Dr Ajay Chakraborty, director of health services.
Earlier, 30 persons had been kept under observation in hospital isolation. While 89 people who had travelled to the affected regions have completed the home-quarantine period, 986 continue to remain in home isolation till the 28-day surveillance period is over, even if they do not have any symptom.
As a precautionary measure, the first isolation facility to treat the affected was set up at Infectious Diseases & Beliaghata General (IB&BG) Hospital in Kolkata with 20 beds, much before India reported its first confirmed Covid-19 case in Kerala. At present, apart from the medical colleges in the city, eight state-run facilities in the districts have also set up isolation wards, taking the number of isolation beds to 92.
“So far we have been able to manage. We are equipped to increase our isolation facilities if the situation demands,” Chakraborty added.
The Covid-19 scare surfaced in the city in January when a Thai national died at a private city hospital. However, her swab samples sent to National Institute of Virology, Pune, tested negative for Covid-19. “Apart from one or two samples in the initial days, all swab samples have been tested at the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, ICMR. This is saving a lot of time in procuring the reports. It is also taking the load off the NIV, Pune, laboratory,” said Shanta Dutta, director, NICED.
Earlier, NICED, Kolkata, was also getting samples from the neighbouring Jharkhad and Chhattisgarh. But after the central government expanded the network of laboratories, NICED has been testing samples from only West Bengal. On Tuesday, three suspects who were under hospital observation were discharged after their samples tested negative. Currently, no patient is under hospital isolation.