West Bengal residents on Monday reacted sharply after a young bureaucrat who was overseeing the movement of migrant workers died of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Debdutta Ray, who was in her mid-thirties, was a West Bengal Civil Service (Executive) officer and posted as deputy magistrate at Chandannagore in Hooghly district.
She is survived by her husband and a four-year-old son.
Ray was the first senior civil servant in the state to die of the coronavirus disease. She died at a hospital in Serampore where she was admitted on Sunday.
Though she tested positive last week at a hospital in Barrackpore in North 24 Parganas district, where she lived, the bureaucrat opted to stay in quarantine at home, officials said. Her condition suddenly deteriorated on Sunday and she was rushed to the hospital.
The news went viral on social media with people circulating the news and Ray’s photographs in thousands.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted her condolence message on Monday night.
“Grieved to hear about the untimely passing away of Debdatta Ray, who was posted as Deputy Magistrate & Deputy Collector in Chandannagar. A young WBCS (Exe) Officer, she was at the forefront fighting the pandemic & displayed outstanding devotion in discharge of her duties,” Banerjee wrote.
“I, on behalf of the Govt of West Bengal, salute her spirit & the sacrifice she’s made in service of the people of #Bengal. Spoke to her husband today & extended my deepest condolences. May the departed soul rest in peace & lord give her family strength to endure this loss,” the chief minister added.
Ray was known to be very active in the ongoing combat against the pandemic.
She was overseeing the movement of migrant workers housed at a transit camp in Dankuni after they arrived in Shramik Special trains from different states.