ARCHANA SHARMA (00:46)
Jaipur The apprehensions regarding Bhilwara turning into Rajastan’s Wuhan seemed to be turning true as the state’s first Covid-19 death was reported in the textile town on Thursday.
The deceased was identified as Narayan Singh, 73, a resident of the city.
Also, two new cases have been reported and both are close contacts and Singh’s family members – his son and his grand daughter, Additional Chief Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said.
Bhilwara has seen Covid-19 cases increasing soon after its Bangad Memorial Hospital, leaked infections to become the disease epicentre of the state, Health Department officials.
Presently, it accounts for 19 of total 42 patients in the state, as on Thursday.
Singh, who was on dialysis, suffered from several other ailments including blood pressure, and breathing problems, and had suffered brain stroke. From March 4 to March 11, he was hospitalised in Bangad Hospital – the same facility where many doctors and staff tested positive for Covid-19 recently.
Singh was, however, sent home when his condition didn’t improve.
On March 20, when Dr Alok Mittal and other hospital staff tested positive for Covid-19, all patients treated in the hospital were traced and screened. Health officials hence reached out to Singh and he was finally found Covid-19 positive when his samples were tested, said state Health Minister Raghu Sharma.
In fact, the virus chain spread started from this private hospital where a pneumonia patient was admitted on March 8 without checking his travel history.
After being treated by DMittal, this patient was shifted to Jaipur-based hospital which yet again failed to check his travel history. This man died on March 13.
Mittal was conveyed the news of his patient’s death and going cautious, he got himself tested and was declared a corona positive patient. Since then, there has been no let up in the numbers of patients been found positive there.
The town has been reeling under curfew for last seven days, and witnessed the most aggressive screening exercise in the nation.
Sharma said that out of 28 lakh people residing in this city, 24 lakh people have been screened. Their samples have been collected and testing is under process.
As many as 700 more samples shall be tested in next two days, he said on Thursday.
Health Department teams are searching the city to trace the suspects. In rural areas, four lakh people who are yet to be screened will be screened within next two days, he added.
As many as 600 quarantine beds have been made ready in this town by acquiring hotels and dharamshalas.
Out of the 19 corona positive patients been reported in the city, 15 comprise doctors, nurses and other staff of this hospital.
The authorities say that coronavirus was confined to this particular hospital but now it seems to be spreading towards community stage which is worrying.
Earlier only doctors and staff of this hospital were affected, but now those who came in touch with them are also affected. More than 5,000 people are home isolated, and 144 are hospitalised in 4 newly-converted health centres.
Meanwhile, the residents who have been asked to stay inside their houses have many unanswered questions.
Ruchi Saraswat says: “We have been trusting the hospitals and doctors. How can they fail to check the patient’s travel history when he was admitted with pneumonia symptoms on March 8. We all know how China and Italy witnessed infection being spread via hospitals and doctors. So wasn’t a little alacrity essential on their part or should we be seeing Italy and Wuhan story been scripted in Bhilwara too?”