A 25-year-old man in Uttar Pradesh who died on Monday became the state’s first death from Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, after his samples tested positive, NDTV reported on Tuesday. His death has sparked concerns about the spread of infection after it was revealed that he likely hid his travel history from authorities.
The man was admitted to a hospital in Basti, about 50 kilometres from Gorakhpur, on March 28 after he complained of breathing problems. The doctors at the hospital told NDTV that the man and his family concealed the fact that he had travelled to Mumbai, because of which he was admitted to the general ward of the hospital.
On Sunday, the man was shifted from the hospital to a super specialty medical facility in Gorakhpur. However, here too he was admitted to the general ward and not the one reserved for Covid-19 patients.
The authorities now fear that patients and staff members of the hospital may have been exposed to the virus. “The man gave no information he had a travel history,” Dr OP Singh, the hospital incharge, said. “This is the fault of the patient and his relatives. He said he had been ill for a month and had no fever at the time. So he was diagnosed at the outpatient department and admitted to the general ward.”
The district administration of Basti has sealed the man’s residence, while all his relatives who were in direct contact with him have been identified and quarantined. The doctors, paramedical staff, and patients admitted at both the hospitals where he was were also identified, isolated and tested.
“We are having to trace a large number of people,” Dr Vikasendu Agarwal, director, epidemics, at the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme of the Uttar Pradesh government, told NDTV. “Patients and their families have to cooperate otherwise it is extremely difficult for us to deal with these challenges.”
Uttar Pradesh has so far recorded 103 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to the state health ministry.
The number of active Covid-19 cases in India has crossed 1,200 with at least 35 deaths reported. The global number of cases rose to 8,59,796 on Wednesday, with over 42,000 patients dead, according to Johns Hopkins University.