First COVID-related death in Kerala, a 69-year-old Dubai-returned man

Published : March 28, 2020 15:18 IST

At an apartment complex in Mattancherry, Kochi, the message is clear: now is the time for physical distancing not socialising. Photo: H.Vibhu

A 69-year-old man who was under treatment for COVID-19 at the Kalamasseri Medical College Hospital near Kochi died on Saturday, marking the first death caused by the disease in Kerala. He had returned from Dubai on March 16 and was admitted to the hospital, a designated COVID-19 Treatment Centre, on March 22 with severe symptoms of pneumonia, according to a press note issued by the hospital authorities.

The man was a cardiac patient, had undergone a bypass surgery and was also under treatment for high blood pressure. He was initially asked to be on home quarantine. But his conditioned worsened progressively, even after he was admitted to the hospital. He was on ventilator support at the time of his death at 8 a.m.

His wife, who had travelled with him, and the taxi driver who had taken them home to Chullikkal near Mattancherry in Kochi from the Cochin International Airport also tested positive for COVID-19. Passengers who had hired the same taxi, fellow travellers in the flight from Dubai, several families sharing the same residential complex, and several others were put under surveillance subsequently.

His wife continues to be under treatment at the same hospital, where 15 others, including five British nationals, are also under care.

His funeral will be conducted as per strict international guidelines, authorities have said.

Kerala reported the first three COVID-19 positive case in India, the first of them on January 30. As on March 27, 1,10,299 persons were under surveillance, 616 of them in isolation facilities in hospitals, and 164 were under treatment.

A total of 21 deaths have been reported so far in India, according to latest report.

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