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Bengal reports first coronavirus death; India casualties climb to eight

The casualty, a 57-year old male suffered a heart attack on Monday after he tested positive. He was already undergoing treatment at a private hospital after complaining of high fever and cough

Avishek Rakshit  |  Kolkata 

reported its first death due to the Covid-19 contagion as total number of detected cases soared up to seven in the state. Incidentally, the state entered its first day of the scheduled five-day lockdown on Monday.

The casualty, a 57-year old male suffered a heart attack on Monday after he tested positive. He was already undergoing treatment at a private hospital after complaining of high fever and cough. This took the death toll to eight across India.

The state’s chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, after an all-party meeting, confirmed the death adding that the deceased had a travel history to Italy and asked the police to arrange for cremation at the earliest. Family member of the deceased have been quarantined and kept under observation.

So far, out of the seven cases detected in the state, four have travel history (including the deceased) from the UK and Italy and the other three are suspected to have caught the infectious virus from sources within the state.

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After the all-party meeting, Banerjee said that the state is left with only 40 Covid-19 test kits and appealed to the Centre to provide for more.

“We have just 40 testing kits in the State. I have asked for more. The Centre is yet to accede to my request. In the video-conferencing call I had with the Prime Minister I raised the issue of non-availability of kits to”, she said.

The chief minister also appealed to the state's BJP wing as well to take it up with the Centre.

Ration shop

Locals buy daily essentials before lock down amid rising concerns over the pandemic, in Kolkata. PTI

Meanwhile the scare over infection has been increasing as residents fear that the infection could have entered stage 3. Tension escalated in a housing complex in south Kolkata where allegedly a woman with travel history from the UK was identified by flat residents. Residents complained that the woman didn’t self-quarantine as per the advisory and the lady as well as her maid have been showing signs of infection.

In fact, the police had forcibly shifted two women to a hospital from a housing complex in Ballygunj last week for not adhering to the protocol of home quarantine after coming back from abroad.

Even as enforced lockdown Monday evening onwards, people resorted to panic buying with commodities like branded atta, frozen vegetables and meat, ready to cook items and others vanishing from the shelves of grocers while severe scarcity of vegetables was noted across marketplaces in the city.

Banerjee also wrote a letter to prime minister, Narendra Modi asking him to stop all scheduled domestic passenger flights from landing in the state.

First Published: Mon, March 23 2020. 20:10 IST
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