62-year-old Sikh spiritual singer Nirmal Singh, a Padma Shri recipient, died of coronavirus in Punjab early this morning. Nirmal Singh was a former ''Hazuri Raagi'' at Golden Temple and a celebrated artiste. He died in Amritsar around 4.30 am.
He had been put on a ventilator yesterday. "His risk factor increased due to his bronchial asthma," KBS Sidhu, a senior officer in charge of Punjab's COVID-19 response, said.
Nirmal Singh had recently returned after a trip abroad and was admitted to hospital after he complained of breathlessness and dizziness on March 30.
According to officials, he had held a large religious gathering in Delhi, Chandigarh and some other places after his return. Along with his family members and relatives, he had also performed a "kirtan'' at a house in Chandigarh on March 19.
His two daughters, son, wife, a driver and six others who were with him at these events have been isolated at a hospital.
Nirmal Singh, who received the Padma Shri in 2009, was known for his knowledge of all 31 "Raags'' in the Gurbani of the Sikh holy book Guru Granth Sahib.
He is Punjab's fifth coronavirus victim. The state has 46 coronavirus cases.
The government on Wednesday said there are 1,834 coronavirus cases in India, including 41 deaths.