Kalburgi, March 11, 2020: A 76-year-old man who had returned to Karnataka from Saudi Arabia about 10 days back has died but there is no confirmation yet if he had contracted the novel coronavirus infection, a state government official said.
Mohammed Hussain Siddiqui had returned from Saudi Arabia on February 29 and headed home in Kalburgi, about 500 km from state capital Bengaluru.
According to reports, he fell ill soon after his return and was admitted by his family to Gulbarga Institute of Medical Sciences. His throat swab was sent for testing to check for coronavirus infection. He was shifted to CARE hospital in Hyderabad in the interim and was on his way back when he died.
Kalburgi district health officer Dr MA Jabbar confirmed the death but underlined that they were yet to receive confirmation if his illness was linked to coronavirus.
“Yes, the death of Mohammed Siddiqui has happened. We have sent samples to NIV (National Institute of Virology) Pune also to find out whether it was caused by the virus. We have no confirmation yet,” Dr Jabbar told HT. The officer, however, stressed that district health officials were nevertheless taking “all measures to ensure that there is no spread of the virus in the district”.
India has about 52 confirmed cases of coronavirus but there have been no deaths linked to the infection so far.
According to experts, those most at risk for severe influenza infection are children, pregnant women, elderly, those with underlying chronic medical conditions and those who are immunosuppressed. For Covid-19, the current understanding is that older age and underlying conditions increase the risk for severe infection.