Karnataka man’s death not confirmed as due to COVID-19, say officials

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An 85-year-old man, who returned from Dubai to Jaipur on February 28 tested positive for COVID-19 infection bringing the total cases in the country to 62. Fourteen more people tested positive for COVID-19 — eight in Kerala and three each in Karnataka and Maharashtra, State authorities said on March 10.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has said that it has, for the first time, used a combination of two drugs primarily brought in for HIV treatment. These drugs have been used for treating the elderly Italian couple at a Jaipur hospital.

The Drug Controller General of India has approved the “restricted use” of the combination of medications Lopinavir and Ritonavir — second-line HIV drugs — for treating those affected by novel coronavirus.

Karnataka man’s death not confirmed as due to COVID-19, say officials

The 76-year-old man who showed symptoms of COVID-19 after his return from Saudi Arabia died on Tuesday. However, the authorities, in an emergency press conference, clarified that it was not a confirmed case of COVID-19, as the medical investigation report was still awaited.

“It is not a confirmed case of COVID-19 death. The patient was admitted to a private hospital in Kalaburagi on Monday after he developed acute respiratory illness, along with cough, cold and fever. The hospital informed our health department which immediately quarantined the patient in the same hospital,” Deputy Commissioner B. Sharat said.

“The throat swab was collected and sent to National Institute of Virology, Bengaluru on the same day and quarantined around 30 people, including his family members, who were in his close contact, at their respective houses. Meanwhile, the patient was shifted to another private hospital in Hyderabad against medical advice on the same day. Since the respiratory illness was at the advanced stage, the family members lost hope and got the patient discharged from there also.

“The patient died on his way back to Kalaburagi on Wednesday night. We are awaiting the throat swab culture report without which we cannot conclusively say that it is a COVID-19 death.”

District Health and Family Welfare Officer M.A. Jabbar said that the throat swab culture report of the patient was expected on Thursday.

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