West Bengal reported its first COVID-19 death, with a 57 year old man succumbing to the deadly virus on Monday at around 3:35 pm. This takes the death toll in India to 8.
The news was first confirmed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at an all-party meeting on the situation around curbing the coronavirus spread in the state. The AMRI hospital in Salt Lake where the patient was admitted also confirmed his death.
The Dum Dum area resident had had a dry cough since the 13th of March and was admitted to hospital on the 16th of March. He had acute respiratory symptoms and was put on ventilator three days later on the 19th and tested positive for COVID-19 on the 21st of March.
The patient had a history of hypertension and poor functioning of lungs and had initially hidden his travel history and whom he came in contact with during his stay overseas.
This created more panic as the state administration tried to trace the chain from where he could have contracted the virus. Also the healthcare professionals who were treating him were placed in a vulnerable position as he had hidden the information. The hospital however says they have taken the necessary steps to ensure their critical care team is safe. All four of his family members and doctors who came in contact with the patient have either been admitted to the hospital or are under home quarantine.
The COVID-19 test reports of the patient’s family members are yet to come.
On the 22nd of March, his travel history was traced back to Italy, where the patient had travelled with his family to meet his son who lives there. West Bengal currently has 8 Covid-19 cases all which have been reported within the last one week.
The State has imposed a lock-down from 5 pm on the 23rd of March to the 27th of March and people can venture out in groups only if there are seven people or less, with adequate social distancing. People have been asked to step out of their homes only to buy essential commodities. Certain professional sectors are exempt from the lock-down as mentioned in the notification. Meanwhile, the State government has also announced non-ac buses free of cost for healthcare professional travelling to and from hospitals.