Updates by the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare states that the country has recorded confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) and now the country’s health ministry has confirmed the first death at the hands of the pandemic late Thursday.
According to the government of India, a 76-year-old man from the southern Indian state of Karnataka, who tested positive for COVID-19, succumbed to the illness.
The man, who had a history of asthma and hypertension, travelled to Saudi Arabia between January and February 2020 after which he landed in India’s Hyderabad and travelled within the country.
B. Sriramulu, Minister of Health and Welfare of Karnataka, tweeted details about the death.
As part of the tweet, Sriramulu revealed that the man who died had been suspected of being infected with the coronavirus.
The 76 year old man from Kalburgi who passed away & was a suspected #COVID19 patient has been Confirmed for #COVID19. The necessary contact tracing, isolation & other measures as per protocol are being carried out.— B Sriramulu (@sriramulubjp) March 12, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indian Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan are yet to publicly address the nation's first COVID-19 death.
According to media reports, BG Prakash Kumar, the State Joint Director of Karnataka, has asserted that all necessary precautions are being made concerning the cremation of the deceased.
Earlier this week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus a pandemic.
All visas, except “diplomatic, official, UN/International Organisations, employment, project visas” have been suspended, as well as those with visa-free travel cards.
At present, over 128,000 people have been infected by the coronavirus and more than 4,700 have been killed worldwide.