RAJASTHAN’s first coronavirus patient, a 69-year-old Italian tourist who had been declared cured, passed away due to heart failure at a private hospital in Jaipur. The news came even as the total number of positive cases in the state shot up to 17, with the addition of six from Bhilwara, including three doctors at a private hospital.
Curfew was imposed in entire Bhilwara district as state health officials, tracing the source of the infections, reached the hospital. As the discovery led to panic, police imposed a shutdown.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot admitted they were worried. “Till two days ago, the situation was under control, but our concern has increased with more cases coming to light as the state is passing through the phase of possibility of community transmission.”
A district official said that of the total 28 tested in Bhilwara so far, six are positive, 11 negative, and results for the rest are awaited.
In a statement, the Rajasthan Health Department said the 69-year-old tourist who died was a chain smoker and had underlying medical conditions, including chronic bronchitis.
The tourist and his wife had been administered anti-HIV drugs as part of treatment, in a first for coronavirus in the country. Recently, the government cleared the two anti-HIV drugs as part of treatment guidelines for COVID-19.
The Health Department said he had tested negative for coronavirus over two tests on March 14 and March 15, before being declared cleared of COVID-19. His wife too had been declared coronavirus negative the same day.
However, till March 17, he had been kept under observation.
On March 17, health officials said, doctors suggested insertion of a ventilation tube, which his wife refused, reportedly insisting on transfer to a private hospital. They said on March 19, a team arrived from the private hospital to transfer him. The patient was shifted only after he stabilised, and it was at the private hospital that he passed away, the department said.
Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Rohit Kumar Singh said they were preparing a list of all patients who may have come in contact with the Bhilwara doctors.
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