A 76-year-old man from Kalaburagi in Karnataka who died on Wednesday has turned out to be India's first coronovirus death, the state government announced on Thursday.
"Tests of samples taken earlier confirmed that the person was infected with COVID-19," it said. Telangana government has also been informed as he went to a hospital there, news agency ANI reported.
State Health Minister B Sriramulu in a tweet said the necessary contact tracing, isolation and other measures as per protocol were being taken.
Officials said the patient had severe co-morbidities such as history of hypertension, diabetes and asthma and appendicitis. State Joint Director (Communicable Diseases) B G Prakash Kumar said all protocols were followed for disposal of the body. "The body is disinfectants completely and disposed as per the Government of India guidelines," he added when asked to elaborate on the protocols.
Sriramulu had earlier said that there was no confirmation that the death was due to coronavirus.
The man had recently returned from Saudi Arabia.
"On his return, he was down with fever and took treatment at a private hospital. Later, on the advice of doctors or family he had gone to Hyderabad," Sriramulu said, as quoted by PTI on Wednesday.
Listing the chronology of events, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Jawaid Akhtar said the person got treated at an OPD of a private hospital in Kalaburagi on 5 March, the next day he got admitted and on March 9 he got shifted to Hyderabad.
The state has already reported five confirmed COVID-19 cases. A 26-year-old man who returned from Greece tested positive for coronavirus, making it the fifth case, the health department said on Thursday.
The state government has issued a notification with temporary regulations regarding COVID-19 and to take special measures to be observed by the public to prevent outbreak of the disease.
It would be called 'The Karnataka Epidemic Diseases, Covid-19 regulations 2020.' The state government has also decided to postpone all international conferences in the state with immediate effect till further notice.