A 69-year-old man, who tested positive for novel coronavirus, died in Kerala today, making him the first casualty from the contagious disease in the coastal state. The man had a history of travel to Dubai, UAE.
The patient, a resident in Kerala's Ernakulam, was admitted to hospital on March 22 after he developed severe symptoms of pneumonia and blood pressure. He had previously also undergone a bypass surgery. He died at 8 AM.
"He is from Kochi and was suffering from heart ailment and blood pressure. Since he was already placed under high-risk category, this need not be a cause to worry. The body has now been handed over to his relatives and the funeral will take place later today. There is no need for any worries at all," State Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunilkumar was quoted as saying by news agency IANS.
"All those who came in contact with him have been identified and have been quarantined," added the minister.
The coastal state reported 39 new positive cases for the contagious disease on Friday, the highest so far in one day.
So far, Kerala has reported 176 cases of COVID-19 infections. Of these, 164 people are being treated for the infection. Twelve people who contracted the infection have recovered, according to the Union Health Ministry.
Left-ruled state which has announced Rs 20,000 crore relief and support package, free rations for all and food for needy during 21-day lockdown to fight the spread of coronavirus.
India saw the highest jump in coronavirus or COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours with 149 patients testing positive for the highly contagious illness in different parts of the country.
A vaccine is still at least 12 to 18 months away, the World Health Organization has said, urging the countries to "unite to fight the pandemic together".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days from Tuesday midnight, asserting in an emotional appeal "with folded hands" that unless India's 130 crore people practise social distancing, the country will lose the war against the coronavirus and slide back 21 years.
With inputs from agencies