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COVID-19: Health ministry rebuts news of death in India

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By IANS Updated: Feb 18, 2020 10:52 pm
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New Delhi, Feb. 18 (IANS): The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday denied the news of first death in India due to novel coronavirus.

The ministry released a statement in which it clarified that the death occurred due to End Stage Liver Disease and not due to COVID-19.

News surfaced on Monday that a person named Sakthikumar from Kothaimangalam Village in Tamil Nadu died of COVID-19 disease.

To which the Health Ministry said “Mr. Sakthikumar, S/o Subramanian, 47 years old male who was hailing from Kothaimangalam Village, Avudayarkovil, Pudukottai District… died on 14.02.2020 in spite of the treatment for the ailment. The death of the individual is due to End Stage Liver Disease and not due to COVID-19.”

According to the statement of the Health Ministry, the deceased was a known case of chronic liver disease with jaundice manifestation due to alcoholism and was under treatment for the past three years. Also he was admitted and treated for his ailment during August 2019 at a private hospital at Tanjore.

Sakthikumar was working as a cook in Chongqing province of China for 15 years. The province is 900 kilometres away from COVID-19-affected Wuhan city. He had returned to his native place on February 5.

The ministry said that Sakthikumar was screened at Trichy airport and was screened for symptoms of COVID-19. He was found to be asymptomatic therefore he was instructed to be in home isolation for 28 days as per the guidelines issued by government. He was followed up by the District Surveillance Unit on a daily basis.

On February 12, he started vomiting and was unable to take food and became disoriented for which he was admitted to a private hospital in Madurai under ICU care. He did not have any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or Severe Acute Respiratory Infection during the time of admission at the hospital. He was diagnosed with End Stage Liver Disease with Hepatic Encephalopathy.

6091
By IANS Updated: Feb 18, 2020 10:52:04 pm