Reports have arrived from Karnataka stating that the country’s first COVID-19 death has occured on March 12 after a 76-year-old man was suspected of COVID-19. He passed away on March 10. He was tested positive for the disease earlier. The patient was from Kalaburgi and already had problems such as asthma, hypertension and diabetes.
He had returned to India from Saudi Arabia on February 29. If reports are to be believed, he fell ill soon after he returned and was admitted to a private hospital. Later on he was shifted to the Gulbarga Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS). His throat swab was sent to check for COVID-19 infection.
The District Health Official tried to convince his family that he needed to be shifted to the GIMS isolation ward but instead he was transferred to a private hospital in Hyderabad. He was discharged from the hospital and was being brought back to Kalaburgi when he died en route.
The Union Health Ministry confirmed the COVID-19 death in a late night statement.
The Union Health Ministry said the number of patients in the country has risen to 81, with fresh cases reported from Maharashtra, Delhi, Ladakh, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, as well as one foreign national. India is still seeing local transmission, the Ministry said.
The rise in numbers came a day after the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.
Union Health Ministry said: “We have to remember that while there is no need for panic we are dealing with an evolving situation. Currently we have 1,500 contacts of the 74 positive cases currently being monitored,” Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry Lav Agarwal told the media.