West Bengal health department had said on Saturday that the woman had tested positive and was admitted at NBMC Hospital.(PTI File / Representational Photo)
West Bengal health department had said on Saturday that the woman had tested positive and was admitted at NBMC Hospital.(PTI File / Representational Photo)

Coronavirus Update: West Bengal records 2nd Covid-19 death, 44-yr-old dies in Kalimpong

Covid-19 Update: Though members of the woman’s family claimed she had limited interaction with others, locals in both Kalimpong and Siliguri fear she and the doctor could have come in contact with many people.
By Pramod Giri | Hindustan Times, Siliguri
UPDATED ON MAR 30, 2020 01:34 PM IST

A 44-year-old woman resident of Kalimpong town in West Bengal, who was admitted to a hospital in Siliguri after contracting Covid-19, died early Monday, officials said.

“The patient died at 2am on Monday,” Dr Praloy Acharya, the chief medical officer of Darjeeling district, said.

Dr PK Deb, principal of North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) where she died, also confirmed her demise.

According to the state health department bulletin on Sunday, a total of three people, including the Kalimpong woman who died later, had tested positive in the state.

The other two patients are two men, aged 52 and 66 respectively. The former is a serving doctor with the Indian Army, who is admitted at the army hospital in Kolkata.

The Kalimpong district authorities have started tracing other people who came in contact with the woman.

The woman saw a doctor at a private nursing home in Kalimpong on March 20, a day after she flew into the state from Chennai with her daughter.

“The patient had normal blood pressure and no other ailments. Her only problem was that she was extremely overweight,” the private doctor, who is now in home isolation, said.

A family member of the woman said she went to Chennai alone on March 7 and returned with her daughter on March 19 in a Chennai-Bagdogra flight that took off early in the morning.

“On March 20, she was running a high fever. On the same evening, she went to a private nursing home in Kalimpong and saw a doctor,” he said while speaking to HT.

Joint family, contacts

Her daughter studies engineering in Chennai and recently underwent a surgery.

The woman lived in a joint family.

Eleven members of her family, the doctor who treated her and his wife have been asked to stay in isolation at home, Kalimpong district officials said on condition of anonymity as they are not authorised to speak to the media.

The doctor, who treated her initially and is also attached to the Kalimpong district hospital, said the woman told him that she had returned from Chennai and had a fever.

“She was coughing as well. When I saw her, I was wearing apron, mask and gloves. I suspected viral infection and suggested medicines and advised her to stay in isolation at home.”

Also read: A marriage ceremony that turned into a Covid-19 hotspot in Bengal

The doctor said she came back to his private chamber in the afternoon of March 25 and said though she had no fever she was suffering from dry cough.

“I advised her to go for an X-Ray. The report suggested viral pneumonia. I advised her to go for a test for tuberculosis and asked her to go to Siliguri and see a specialist,” said the doctor.

“I stopped seeing patients at the nursing home since March 25 evening after I suspected that the lady could have been infected by the coronavirus. I am staying in isolation since Saturday evening,” he added.

Also read: Bengal men self-quarantine on tree to keep others safe

Dr Gyalmit Lecpcha, owner of the private nursing home said, “We are trying our best to identify people with whom the doctor came in contact with since March 20.”

On March 26, a second X-Ray and CT scan done at a private diagnostic centre in Siliguri reconfirmed the woman had viral pneumonia.

She was admitted at the isolation ward of NBMCH in Siliguri, 65km from Kalimpong, on the same day. Her samples were sent to Kolkata for tests since there is no testing facility in north Bengal.

When her condition deteriorated, she was shifted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and kept under ventilation, said a doctor at the hospital, requesting anonymity.

R Vimala, district magistrate of Kalimpong, and Prakash Barui, chief medical officer of health of Kalimpong district did not respond to calls from HT.

Though members of the woman’s family claimed she had limited interaction with others, locals in both Kalimpong and Siliguri fear she and the doctor could have come in contact with many people.

“On March 19, while she was on her way to Kalimpong from Bagdogra, she spent an hour at the home of a relative at Jyoti Nagar in Siliguri,” a member of the woman’s family said.

According to the state health department’s daily bulletin issued on Sunday, 20 people have contracted Covid-19 in West Bengal and apart from the Kalimpong resident, another man has died till date.

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