Bengaluru: Karnataka Health Minister B. Sriramulu on Thursday confirmed that a 76-year-old man from Kalaburgi in the state's northern region died of Coronavirus.
"The 76-year-old man from Kalaburgi who passed away and was suspected to be a COVID-19 patient has been confirmed for COVID-19," tweeted state Health Minister B. Sriramulu late on Thursday night. A Government statement from New Delhi late on Thursday night said the old man died due to comorbidity and has also tested positive for COVID-19.
Karnataka Health and Family Welfare Department's joint director for Communicable Diseases Prakash Kumar said all the protocols are being followed with regard to the safe disposal of the old man's body. Kumar said the body has been disinfected completely and disposed as per Central government's guidelines. He shared the guidelines to be followed on how to handle a corpse in a coronavirus situation, detailing the general principles, tips for corpse handlers, storage or mortuary services, identification and release of body to relatives.
Sriramulu said the health department has initiated the contact tracing and isolation measures. According to the Central government statement, the old man visited Saudi Arabia on January 29 and returned to India a month later on February 29. "He was a known case of hypertension and asthma. He reached back to Hyderabad on February 29 and went to Kalaburgi. While he was asymptomatic on his return, he developed symptoms of fever and cough on March 6. One private doctor visited him at his home and treated him there,a said the statement.
However, on March 9, the Kalaburgi man's health deteriorated with aggravated symptoms and a private hospital in the town provisionally diagnosed his case as mid zone viral pneumonia and suspected COVID-19. On March 9th itself, Viral Research Diagnostic Laboratory, Gulbarga Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS), Kalaburgi collected his sample and dispatched it to VDRL, Bangalore Medical College & Research Institute, Bengaluru to rule out Coronavirus.
"Without waiting for the test results, the attendees insisted and the patient was discharged against medical advice (DAMA) and the attendees took him to a private hospital in Hyderabad," said the statement. Kalaburgi is 232 km west of Hyderabad. Though Kalaburgi District Health Officer met the patient's relatives and requested them to shift the patient to an isolated ward within GIMS, according to the instructions of the Deputy Commissioner of the district, the relatives didn't heed them and moved the patient without the officer's knowledge to Hyderabad.
"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 GIMS, Kalaburgi on Tuesday,a said the statement. Currently, all precautionary measures as per protocol such as contact tracing, screening and home quarantine of the contacts have been initiated by the Kalaburgi district health and family welfare department and being monitored continuously.
Sriramulu said the old man was a coronavirus suspect after his death on Wednesday and confirmed the cause of death on Thursday. Following his death in a private Hyderabad hospital, state health department's Information, Education and Communication (IEC) special officer Suresh Shastri said Telangana government has also been informed of the development.