Coronavirus claims Kolkata govt doctor, Mumbai cop | India News


KOLKATA/MUMBAI: A 60-year-old government doctor, who had tested positive for coronavirus, died in Kolkata on Sunday, marking the first Covid-death of a health official in West Bengal while a 53-year-old head constable died from the deadly viral disease at a Navi Mumbai hospital. This is the second Covid-positive policeman’s death in Maharashtra within 24 hours—a 57-year-old constable from Vakola police station had succumbed to the virus on Saturday.
In Kolkata, the demise of Biplab Kanti Dasgupta, however, has not yet been officially confirmed by the state as a ‘Covid death’. The cause of the fatality will be determined by the state’s Covid death audit committee, which is following an “international protocol” in these cases.
Dasgupta was initially admitted to the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Beliaghata, where his swab samples tested positive for Covid-19. On April 18, he was shifted to AMRI Hospital in Salt Lake. He was put on ventilator support after suffering a “respiratory distress” but passed away at 1.20am on Sunday, an AMRI source said. The doctor’s last Facebook post (on April 9) — ‘Trust God even if the answer is WAIT’ — has turned especially poignant in the wake of his death.
Dasgupta was in charge of the Central Medical Store, Sealdah, which supplies medicine, medical equipment and PPE to government-run health facilities across the state. His co-morbidities included diabetes and hypertension, according to sources. His wife, who is also Covid-positive, is currently undergoing treatment. Another doctor, at whose private chamber Dasgupta had got himself checked before testing positive, has also been infected with the virus, the sources added. Meanwhile, the condition of the other Covid-positive doctor — a 65-year-old orthopaedic surgeon — remains critical.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, expressing her condolences, tweeted, “His sacrifice for the cause of ailing humanity will ever be in our hearts and will make our Covid warriors fight the deadly virus with even greater determination. My heartfelt condolence to Dr Dasgupta’s bereaved family members and colleagues.”
In Maharashtra, state home minister Anil Deshmukh announced Rs 50 lakh compensation for the kin of the two deceased cops and a government job for one family member. CM Uddhav Thackeray said: “Both cops have sacrificed their lives in the fight against coronavirus. The state government will help their families as per the schemes announced.”
Sources said the head constable, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2017, would travel from his Kamothe residence to the protection branch’s headquarters in south Mumbai in bus during lockdown. “He was assigned desk work,” said an officer. After the head constable tested positive for Covid-19 on April 23, he was admitted to the MGM Hospital and his wife and two children were quarantined. The Panvel City Municipal Corporation has asked the Advanced Centre for Training, Research and Education in Cancer, Kharghar, to step up its Covid-19 preparation after the death of two cancer patients, including the head constable.
Of the 50,000-strong police force, nearly 50 have tested positive so far, and most of them are recovering, said an official. Sources said around 1,000 cops on lockdown duty have not gone home for days.
“I have not gone home for the last five days. I have been sleeping in a makeshift arrangement at Malad police station,” said a police constable attached to the local arms division who has been assigned bandobast duty at a containment zone. Another constable said: “I prefer to go home once in a week as my wife is pregnant. As I am posted outside KEM Hospital, they have made arrangements for me in a BMC school in Dadar.”
In addition to the anti-malarial pills—hydroycholorquine sulphate (HCQS)—officials from the BMC health department and Mumbai Police have also been advised to take multivitamin tablets, especially vitamin D12 and protein. HCQS is being given as a prophylaxis to frontline healthcare workers and the police.
(Inputs from S Ahmed Ali & Sujit Mahamulkar)
In Video:Covid-19: Mumbai Police’s 52-year-old head constable dies of coronavirus



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