Coronavirus in West Bengal: 6 admitted to hospital with symptoms, schools shut till March end – Livemint

Kolkata News

Kolkata: In the wake of coronavirus scare, Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government decided to shut all educational institutions in the state — schools, colleges, universities, madarsahs, Sishu Shiksha Kendra and Madhyamik Shiksha Kendra — till March 31. However, the examinations will be held as per schedule, West Bengal government said.

However, all board examinations will be held as per schedule, chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced here.

“It has been decided that all government, government-aided, private educational institutions – schools, colleges, universities, Madarsas, SSK (Shishu Shiksha Kendra) and MSK (Madhyamik Shiksha Kendra) will remain closed from 16 March, 2020, to 31 March, 2020, in public interest,” Banerjee said in a press release.

“The internal examinations of these institutions will also remain suspended during the said duration. However, the Board examinations will be held as per schedule,” she said.

The decision was taken “in view of the evolving situation on the spread of COVID 19, the advisories issues by WHO, UN and central government and as a matter of abundant precaution to check its spread” in the state, she said.

Six people are in isolation in hospital while 1,977 are under home surveillance among the 2,56,682 people screened in West Bengal since the global outbreak of coronavirus. No one has tested positive for the fatal disease in the state so far, according to a health department official.

Of the half-a-dozen patients hospitalised with suspected coronavirus symptoms, four — three Indians and a Peru national — have been kept at the state’s referral health facility for infectious diseases ID Hospital Beliaghata.

An Italian couple and a Thai national were released from hospital on Friday after their samples tested negative, a hospital official said.

A total of 68,761 persons have been screened at Kolkata and Bagdogra airports, while 184,153 others underwent screening at seven Land Border Check Points along Nepal and Bangladesh, the official said.

Also 3,768 crew members of ships have been screened in three ports.

“So far 2,187 travellers from COVID-19 affected countries have been identified and placed under surveillance. For 204 of them, the surveillance period has been over. Six are admitted in an isolation facility. The rest 1,977 are under home surveillance. All of them are stable,” the official said.

Fifty samples were sent for testing to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune and ICMR-NICED, Kolkata, and all of them tested negative.

The state health department has advised people at large to follow the cough etiquette by covering the nose and mouth using handkerchief/towel while sneezing/coughing and do frequent hand-washing with soap and water.

“Those who have arrived from the COVID-19 affected countries should remain under home isolation for 28 days from the date of arrival in India, even if they do not have any symptoms.

They should contact the 24×7 Help Line numbers (1800 313 444 222 / 033 2341 2600 in case they develop fever with cough or difficulty of breathing during this period,” a health department bulletin said.