An eye specialist posted at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital here but staying in Calcutta has tested positive for the novel coronavirus after returning in a bus to his workplace on April 29.
Twenty-six other doctors and nurses of north Bengal’s only referral hospital who had travelled with the eye specialist in a government-arranged bus from Calcutta have been quarantined at a facility near NBMCH. A doctor, a nurse and a clerical staff of Raiganj Government Medical College and Hospital in North Dinajpur who had travelled with the group have also been quarantined.
The eye specialist has been admitted to Chhangs’ Super Speciality Hospital, the designated Covid-19 hospital in Siliguri.
“On Friday, the doctor tested positive for the novel coronavirus. We have quarantined the 26 other doctors and nurses who had travelled with him in the bus from Calcutta. Arrangements have been made to test their swab samples,” said a source at NBMCH.
Authorities at the Raiganj hospital have also quarantined the three from the facility who had travelled with the group.
Sources said a doctor in Kurseong who too had been in the bus has gone into self-quarantine. Locals said the doctor had visited two medicine shops in town. “Both owners have been asked to close their shops and stay in home quarantine till the test report of the swab samples of the doctor arrives,” a source said.
The eye specialist is the first doctor in north Bengal to have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Earlier, two nurses had got infected. They were discharged earlier this week.
As of now, 10 Covid-19 patients are under treatment at Chhangs’ Super Speciality Hospital, while 13 persons suspected to have contracted the virus are at Desun Hospital in Siliguri. In total, 38 people are at different quarantine centres of Darjeeling district.
In Malda and Alipurduar, the two districts were cases have recently been reported, have had no new patients in the past 48 hours.
“We have increased the number of individual and pool tests to detect Covid-19 cases,” said Amit Dan, the superintendent of Malda Medical College and Hospital.
Sushanta Roy, the officer on special duty in north Bengal for Covid-29 treatment, said NBMCH doctors and paramedics would be sent to other districts of north Bengal to impart treatment training to colleagues there.
“At NBMCH, doctors and other health staff have gained experience by treating a number of corona-positive patients in the past one-and-a-half months. That is why we have decided to send them in teams to other districts where they can apprise doctors and others on how to handle Covid-19 patients and suspects,” Roy sad.