One child died due to pneumonia and pleural effusion while 88 others are being treated for high fever and diarrhoea at a state-run hospital in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district on Tuesday, a senior official at the medical establishment said. While 42 children were discharged from Jalpaiguri Sadar Hospital, blood samples were sent for tests to find out whether they were suffering from Chikungunya, Dengue, Scrub Typhus, or Japanese Encephalitis.
"The child who died was from Mekhliganj and was brought to the hospital in quite a critical condition. He died due to pneumonia and pleural effusion. He was six years old and had congenital heart disease," the Acting superintendent of the hospital, Dr. Rahul Bhowmick, said.
Three children were referred to the North Bengal Medical College and Medical for advanced treatment, he said.
Covid tests conducted on all the children were found to be negative, Bhowmick added.
Meanwhile, deputy health secretary Dr. Ajay Chakraborty said an expert committee has been formed to supervise the situation.
In the previous week, at least 130 children were admitted to Bengal's Jalpaiguri Sadar Hospital with high fever and dysentery. 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.
If necessary, the children will be subjected to COVID-19 tests, an official had said.
COVID-19 situation in West Bengal
703 fresh Covid cases take Bengal's tally to 15.58 lakh
Meanwhile, West Bengal's COVID-19 tally went up to 15,58,117 after 703 fresh cases were registered in the state on Tuesday, a bulletin issued by the health department said. Of the new cases, 127 and 138 were reported from Kolkata and neighbouring North 24 Parganas district respectively. Twelve more fatalities increased the state's coronavirus deaths to 18,599, the bulletin said.
Of the fresh deaths, North 24 Parganas registered five deaths and Kolkata three.
At least 713 patients recovered from the disease taking the total number of cured people to 15,31,444, the bulletin added. The discharge rate was recorded at 98.29 per cent.
The state currently has 8,074 active cases.
In the last 24 hours, 35,998 samples were tested for COVID-19 in West Bengal raising the number of such clinical examinations to 1,75,41,500.
On Tuesday, 3,34,385 people were vaccinated in the state. So far, 4,81,19,433 people in the state have got at least one dose of the vaccine, a health department official said.
(With inputs from PTI)