At least 130 children were admitted to Jalpaiguri Sadar Hospital with high fever and dysentery, a health department official said on Monday. Two of them were later shifted to North Bengal Medical College as their condition worsened. The development comes amid warning by experts that the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic might pose a greater risk to children.
“We are keeping a tab on the situation and trying to develop the hospital’s infrastructure so that no one is denied admission. The situation is quite worrisome,” the official told PTI. If necessary, the children will be subjected to COVID-19 tests, the official stated. District Magistrate Moumita Godara Basu, who visited the hospital during the day, held back-to-back meetings with authorities to assess the situation and find a way ahead, the official added. “There were at least nine persons who were brought to the hospital on Monday night and today we are having a huge flow of patients with similar symptoms. We suspect that the infection is due to the water they have consumed,” an official of the College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital said.
Earlier, as many as 78 people, including five children, were hospitalised with symptoms of diarrhoea in neighbouring Kamarhati area of the North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal. Two elderly patients also died of similar symptoms, but Deputy Health Secretary, Ajay Chakrabarty said their deaths were due to renal failure and not due to the diarrhoea outbreak there. Out of the 78 hospitalised at the College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital, the condition of six patients was stated to be “very critical”, hospital authorities said. Patients mostly from Wards 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of Kamarhati Municipality have been diagnosed with symptoms of diarrhoea and hospitalised.