A brigadier of the Indian Army died in Kolkata on Thursday of complications related to coronavirus infection. Posted at Eastern Command, he is believed to be the highest-ranking Indian Army officer to have lost his life to the virus.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee offered her condolences to his family. West Bengal government's Home Department tweeted, "Hon'ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and GOWB express deep condolences on untimely passing away of Brigadier Vikas Samyal......who succumbed to Covid19 today at the Command Hospital Kolkata."
Hon'ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and GOWB express deep condolences on untimely passing away of Brigadier Vikas Samyal, an Indian Army Brigadier posted at the Eastern Command in Kolkata who succumbed to Covid-19 today at the Command Hospital, Kolkata.— HOME DEPARTMENT - GOVT. OF WEST BENGAL (@HomeBengal) July 2, 2020
The officer had been admitted to the Army's designated COVID-19 hospital, the Military Hospital at Barrackpore, where he tested positive for the virus. But after complications developed, he was moved to the Command Hospital in Kolkata.
According to sources, a couple of other officers have also tested positive in Kolkata.
The brigadier's death comes on a day when a senior Bengal government official tested positive at the state secretariat Nabanna and the head of ICMR's Kolkata wing, NICED, was admitted to a private hospital with COVID-related complications.
In the last 24 hours, Bengal has reported 649 cases, 218 of them in Kolkata alone. The adjoining districts, North and South 24 Parganas, have also reported spikes of 162 and 58 new cases each respectively. 16 people have died in that span of time, raising the total to 699.