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8 More Children Dead, Bengal Adenovirus Toll 48 in 10 Days

According to sources, 103 children in the state have died of ARIs since January 1 though the government has denied it.
Representational Image. Image Courtesy: PTI

Representational Image. Image Courtesy: PTI

Kolkata: Eight more children died due to adenovirus in Kolkata between Sunday and Monday taking the toll in West Bengal to 48 in the last 10 days.

Of the eight children, five were under treatment at BC Roy Children’s Hospital, one at Calcutta Medical College and two at the Institute of Child Health—all of them were hospitalised after developing adenovirus symptoms, like fever, coughand breathlessness.

Ariyan Khan (eight months) and Arup Biswas (one month) died at BCRoy Children’s Hospital by Monday morning. Ariyan, from Kolkata’s Anandpur, was breathless and had a fever for several days. Similarly, Deb Badui, from Bangaon, and a one-month-old from Gaighata died at the hospital the same morning.

Piyali Malakar (eight months), under treatment for seven days after being referred by Hooghly Imambara Hospital, died at Calcutta Medical College Hospital on Sunday night. A 10-month-old from Regent Park and an 11-month-old from Jaynagar died at the Institute of Child Health the same night.

Following the increasing deaths, the health department has indefinitely cancelled the leaves of principals, vice-principals, supers, assistantsand deputy supers of all government medical colleges and other hospitals. Paediatricians, critical care specialists and staff treating acute respiratory infections (ARIs) in children have been instructed to be alert.

According to sources, 103 children in the state have died of ARIs since January 1. However, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said in the Assembly that “19 children have died so far with 6 of them due to adenovirus and 13 comorbidities”.

“This is happening in all states. Don’t scare others by showing crying parents of dead children,” she told the media and emphasised wearing masks and increasing awareness.

Parents who have lost their children are livid at the state government. A father who lost his child on Monday told the media, “Doctors tried a lot but could not save my child. I will not blame them. The government is responsible. If there was an adequate ICU, my child might have survived.”

Alleging a “lack of ventilators”, he said, “If the government does not provide more ventilators, many more children might die.”

Doctors have repeatedly said that infection isdecreasing with rising temperature but adults should be careful. “We are trying our best. The infection will gradually decrease due to the heat and the situation will be somewhat normal in the next two weeks,” a doctor said.

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