A 22-year-old student who has been staying in London and returned home to Kolkata on March 13 has tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19. He is West Bengal’s second positive case of coronavirus. Health officials have said both cases in the city were “imported”.
The first coronavirus case in West Bengal was reported from Kolkata on March 17. The patient had flown in from the UK. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had questioned the effectiveness of the thermal temperature screening at the airport.
“The second COVID-19 case in Kolkata is also an imported case of the virus and not a case of community transmission,” a health officer said.
The Health Department has asked all those who have returned in recent weeks from abroad to go into self-quarantine for 14 days.
The 22-year-old student flew back to Kolkata on March 13. He was in self-quarantine at home as recommended. He developed some symptoms three days later. On Wednesday, two of his friends with whom he came from London called from their homes in other states to say they had tested positive for the virus.
The Bengal youth then met with a local doctor, who told him to contact the nodal infectious diseases hospital. He was admitted and tested on Thursday morning, and the results came positive in the evening.
Eleven members of his family have been sent by the government to a quarantine centre at Rajarhat in Kolkata. The housing complex where the boy lives has gone into something of a lockdown with residents asked not to step out. Domestic help, drivers and other vendors have been told not to come till March 31.
“The boy followed all quarantine rules after coming home from London,” said a doctor who is a member of the housing society colony. “There is no panic, but we are taking some precautions and being careful,” he added.