The first case of a coronavirus death in the country has been reported in Karnataka with health officials confirming that a 76-year-old man, who died on his way from Hyderabad to his hometown Kalaburagi Tuesday, has tested positive for COVID-19 virus.
Officials said the man had returned from a month-long pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia and fallen ill with underlying conditions of asthma and hypertension.
“The 76-year-old man from Kalaburagi, who passed away and was a suspected COVID-19 patient, has been confirmed for COVID-19. The necessary contact tracing, isolation and other measures as per protocol are being carried out. The Telangana government has also been informed since he went to a private hospital there,’’ Karnataka Health Commissioner Pankaj Pandey said Thursday night.
He landed in Hyderabad on February 29 and went to his native place Kalaburagi in north Karnataka where he developed “symptoms of fever and cough” on March 6, and was attended to by a doctor at his home.
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Officials said the symptoms got aggravated on March 9, when he was moved to a private hospital in Kalaburagi, and “provisionally diagnosed” as a suspected COVID-19 case. On the same day, his sample was collected by the Gulbarga Institute of Medical Sciences hospital in Kalaburagi and sent to the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute.
“Without waiting for the test results, the attendees insisted and the patient was discharged against medical advice… the attendees took him to a private hospital in Hyderabad. As per instructions of Deputy Commissioner, Kalaburagi District, the District Health Officer met the attendees to convince them to admit the patient to GIMS, Kalaburagi, in the isolation ward. But the attendees refused to listen to him. They transferred him to Hyderabad without his knowledge,” the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.
“The patient was admitted in a private hospital in Hyderabad and treated. Later he was discharged and while he was being brought back he died on the way to the GIMS, Kalaburagi, on March 10,” the statement said.
Following reports Wednesday that the man had died, Karnataka Health Minister B Sreeramulu and department officials maintained that test reports had not yet been received to confirm the cause. On Tuesday, however, a letter sent out by the District Health Officer in Kalaburagi had directed local health officials to supervise all measures being carried out for the burial of the 76-year-old “suspected COVID-19 patient”.
Also Thursday, Andhra Pradesh confirmed its first case when a person who returned from Italy on March 6 tested positive at the Nellore Government Hospital — the Tirupati virology lab confirmed the test.
“The patient is stable and all his vitals are normal. He is recovering from symptoms and is keeping good health. He will be discharged after 14 days. All persons he was in contact with have been traced and are in quarantine as per protocol,’’ an official said.
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