Coronavirus update: 57-year-old Bengal man’s source of Covid-19 infection unknown
Authorities are yet to trace the source of a 57-year-old railway employee’s infection almost a week after he became the first person to die of Covid-19 in West Bengal with officials maintaining that his case cannot be attributed to community transmission as he took a train from Chhattisgarh on March 2 and may have been infected in that state or the train.
“This case cannot be tagged as a community transmission. Even though the victim did not travel to any foreign country and did not have a traceable contact with anyone who has returned from abroad, he had a travel history. He had been to Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh and had returned to Kolkata on March 2. He boarded the Azad Hind Express, which originated from Pune in Maharashtra,” said West Bengal health services director Ajay Chakraborty.
“We still do not know the source of his infection...” he said.
Maharasthra has the second highest number of Covid-19 cases in India, but the first was detected only on March 9, a week after the rail employee took the train that originated there.
His family has doubts over whether he indeed died of Covid-19. “My husband was perfectly okay until he fell ill and had to be admitted to a hospital...I would have surely contracted the disease. So would have his 80-year-old mother who stays with us. I do not believe the hospital reports,” the 57-year-old’s widow said. She is living in isolation.
At least 300 people, including his colleagues and 13 families in Chattisgarh, have been asked to stay in home quarantine. Some of his relatives have been kept in isolation wards in Kolkata.
As many as 15 positive Covid-19 cases have been detected in West Bengal; 13 of them had either travelled abroad or had come in contact with people who returned from foreign countries. Two persons, including the railway employee, have not had traceable contact with anyone who may have come from abroad.