West Bengal on Saturday has reported about its youngest coronavirus patient, a nine-month-old baby who has tested positive along with four members of her family. This includes a six-year-old girl, an 11-year-old boy, and two women, taking the number of confirmed cases in the state to 15, a senior health official said.
The 27-year-old woman had come in contact with a person from the UK who recently tested positive, the official added. The woman is from Tehatta in West Bengal's Nadia district but now lives in Uttarakhand, he said. "The person is studying in the UK and was kept in quarantine in New Delhi after he had returned from abroad. But he violated quarantine protocol and came to Tehatta to participate in a family function there. The woman came in contact with the person who tested positive for coronavirus and is now undergoing treatment in a hospital in Delhi," the official said.
The matter unfolded after the 27-year-old woman, mother of the nine-month-old baby, and the six-year-old girl visited a clinic in Tehatta with coronavirus-like symptoms. The five are undergoing treatment at a hospital in Nadia district and will be brought to Kolkata on Saturday in a specialised ambulance meant to carry COVID-19 patients, the official said. The health department officials have identified 18 people in the neighbourhood of the family and put them in isolation.
The state health department on Friday conducted tests on 33 suspected people and the reports are awaited. Of the 15 suffering from the disease in the state, one had died and an elderly patient is in a critical condition.
News agency PTI on Friday quoted sources close to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up on her and appreciated the steps taken by the state government to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
During the call, PM Modi also took stock of the current situation in the state in the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak, they said. The Prime Minister also praised the measures taken by her government to help citizens during the lockdown, the sources said. The conversation between the two leaders lasted for nearly 10 minutes, they said. After the prime minister, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also called up CM Banerjee and took stock of the situation in the state, the sources said.
In a bid to tackle the growing cases of the novel coronavirus, CM Banerjee had earlier written to 18 chief ministers, asking them to provide aid to the workers from her state who are stranded in different regions due to the 21-day lockdown. She had requested to provide the people of her state with basic shelter, food, and medical support during this period of crisis. She had also sought a Rs 1,500 crore package from the Centre to supplement the state government's efforts to deal with the situation.
(with PTI inputs)