Karnataka man’s death not confirmed as due to COVID-19, say officials

The medical investigation report of the 76-year-old man, who returned from Saudi Arabia and showed symptoms of COVID-19, is awaited.

Updated - March 11, 2020 07:06 pm IST

Published - March 11, 2020 03:41 pm IST - KALABURAGI

Kalaburagi Deputy Commissioner Sharat. B (right) addresses a press conference in Kalaburagi on March 11, 2020.

Kalaburagi Deputy Commissioner Sharat. B (right) addresses a press conference in Kalaburagi on March 11, 2020.

The 76-year-old man who showed symptoms of COVID-19 after his return from Saudi Arabia died on Tuesday. However, the authorities, in an emergency press conference, clarified that it was not a confirmed case of COVID-19, as the medical investigation report was still awaited.

“It is not a confirmed case of COVID-19 death. The patient was admitted to a private hospital in Kalaburagi on Monday after he developed acute respiratory illness, along with cough, cold and fever. The hospital informed our health department which immediately quarantined the patient in the same hospital,” Deputy Commissioner B. Sharat said.

“The throat swab was collected and sent to National Institute of Virology, Bengaluru on the same day and quarantined around 30 people, including his family members, who were in his close contact, at their respective houses. Meanwhile, the patient was shifted to another private hospital in Hyderabad against medical advice on the same day. Since the respiratory illness was at the advanced stage, the family members lost hope and got the patient discharged from there also.

“The patient died on his way back to Kalaburagi on Wednesday night. We are awaiting the throat swab culture report without which we cannot conclusively say that it is a COVID-19 death.”

District Health and Family Welfare Officer M.A. Jabbar said that the throat swab culture report of the patient was expected on Thursday.

As per Mr. Jabbar, the patient had travelled to Saudi Arabia on January 29 and returned to India on February 29. He was screened in Hyderabad Airport and allowed to move on as he did not show any symptoms of COVID-19.

“He was alright till last Friday when he developed cough, fever, cold and respiratory illness. He went home after primary medication. He was admitted on Monday when he began suffering from acute respiratory illness. The patient had a history of pneumonia and asthma-related comorbidities,” Mr Jabbar said.

“We have home-quarantined and begun monitoring all those who were in close contact with the patient. As of now, none of them has shown any symptoms of COVID-19. The body of the patient reached Kalaburagi at 11 p.m. on Tuesday and was sanitised,” he said.

He added that the body was deep-buried on Wednesday as per the protocol.

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