COVID-19 infection in dead toddler in Gujarat a mystery

Coronavirus infection in dead toddler in Gujarat a mystery

Representaative image. (Pixabay)

The father breaks down continuously on phone while describing how two Maulavis (priests) buried his only son wrapped in "plastic sheets". "I couldn't even see his face for one last time. They didn't allow me to touch my only child," says 24 years old father of the 14-month-old boy, the youngest COVID19 patient, who died on Tuesday evening at Jamnagar hospital.

"I am unable to talk about anything. It is just not believable," as he breaks down and hands over the phone to his 21 years old wife who sounded more composed. "The hospital people killed my son. He didn't have any major problems. He was having cough and cold because he ate lots of banana and guava. The hospital people are lying that my son died from coronavirus. It is not true," she tells DH over phone.  
 
"Why are we both so well. Nothing has happened to us or anyone in our contact. We have gone through several tests but nothing came out," said the mother a bit agitatedly. As a matter of fact, the source of coronavirus in her son remains a mystery for the local administration who have checked hundreds of persons living in the chawl in Dared village that houses 90 families.
 
"All the reports have come which couldn't find anything wrong in the parents but for precaution the couple will remain in isolation for 14 days in government facilities as per the guidelines," said Jamnagar district collector Ravi Shankar. The death of the toddler is among the 16 casualties reported in the state till Wednesday.
 
The boy was admitted to the hospital on Saturday whose condition became critical soon. He passed away on Tuesday evening and was buried as per the protocol. Only the mother was allowed to see the dead body from a distance. "Two Maulana came and buried by the child. I couldn't see him for the one last time. Yakeen nahi ho raha hai (I can't believe it)," the father said.
 
With the source of infection still unknown, the local administration surveyed nearly 20,000 persons but nothing suspicious was found. As a matter of fact, of 186 positive cases detected till Wednesday morning in the state, there are over a dozen cases in which source of infection is not known. The health department, however, treats such cases in the category of "local transmission."
 
For nearly a week, number of cases that have foreign travel history has remained constant at 32 in the state and intrastate travel cases 33, while cases of local transmission have reached 114.
 
Meanwhile, the Gujarat government has put over 1.5 lakh people under "cluster quarantine"" in Surat, Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Vadodara and Rajkot. Health department officials said that "Those areas which registered a high number of positive cases have been put down complete lockdown. The government is surveying the areas and identifying people with possibilities of infection and adopting measures to treat them.' In Ahmedabad, the officials have sealed most of the wall city area from where maximum cases are being reported.