Kolkata’s first coronavirus carrier and his mother, a senior bureaucrat, moved freely for two days

The 18-year-old youth’s mother is Arunima De, a senior bureaucrat at the state home department. She went to her office at Nabanna, the state secretariat, on March 16, a day after her son arrived from London
People seen wearing protective masks as precautionary measure following multiple positive cases of coronavirus in India.(Sanchit Khanna/HT photo)
People seen wearing protective masks as precautionary measure following multiple positive cases of coronavirus in India.(Sanchit Khanna/HT photo)
Updated on Mar 18, 2020 08:00 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By

Bengal’s first identified carrier of the deadly coronavirus and members of his family moved around Kolkata for more than 48 hours without any restriction, officials aware of the details of the case said on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old youth’s mother is Arunima De, a senior bureaucrat at the state home department. She went to her office at Nabanna, the state secretariat, on March 16, a day after her son arrived from London. She spent a few hours at Nabanna, even as chief minister Mamata Banerjee was taking emergency measures for the general public and issuing warnings.

Some officials said De attended a meeting where senior officials were present. Her room at the state secretariat was locked up on Wednesday and every place where she was last seen was disinfected.

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Till Wednesday noon, the state government made no official statement on this. De lives in a high-rise in south Kolkata with her family.

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“Officials at Nabanna are taking emergency measures. When I heard about the incident, I could not believe that someone who is a bureaucrat, could be so careless,” a minister who did not wish to be identified told HT.

Officials said on condition of anonymity that on March 16, De took her son to M R Bangur Hospital in south Kolkata, where the youth was examined by a doctor and a health worker. The bureaucrat was advised to admit her son in the infectious diseases hospital at Beliaghata without delay. However the advice was not followed.

The youth was taken to the hospital at Beliaghata on Tuesday morning. The doctor and the health worker at M R Bangur Hospital, who examined the youth, are living in isolation at their residences since Tuesday.

The youth is admitted in the infectious diseases hospital while his parents and two drivers who work for the family are admitted at the new isolation facility at Rajarhat. Samples have been collected from the youth’s parents and their employees and sent for tests.

The government is trying to trace the passengers of the flight in which the youth arrived in Kolkata.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tanmay Chatterjee has spent more than two decades covering regional and national politics, internal security, intelligence, defence and corruption. He also plans and edits special features on subjects ranging from elections to festivals.

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