Staff sanitising a metro station during a cleaning drive launched by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation against the coronavirus (COVID-19) in New Delhi, on March 13, 2020.
Staff sanitising a metro station during a cleaning drive launched by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation against the coronavirus (COVID-19) in New Delhi, on March 13, 2020. |IANS

India reports second coronavirus death as Delhi woman dies

By Sonny Abraham/NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, March 13, 2020

India today reported a second death due to coronavirus (COVID-19) after a 68-year-old woman died after testing positive for the virus even as eight other new cases were reported in the country in the past 24 hours, taking the total so far to 82.

"Death of a 68 year old female from West Delhi (mother of a confirmed case of COVID 19), is confirmed to be caused due to co-morbidity (diabetes and hypertension). She has also tested positive for COVID-19," a press release from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said late tonight.

The woman had history of contact with a positive case (her son who had travel history to Switzerland and Italy between February 5 and 22. The son had returned to India on February 23. He initially was asymptomatic, but developed fever and cough after one day and reported to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital on March 7.

"As per protocol, the family was screened and since he and his mother had fever and cough, both were admitted.

"She was a known case of diabetes and hypertension. Her sample was collected on 8th March, 2020. Her condition worsened on 9th March, 2020 with development of pneumonia and she was shifted to intensive care unit. Her sample also tested positive for COVID19. Since 9th March 2020 she was having respiratory fluctuations and was provided ventilator support. However, due to comorbid conditions, she died on 13th march, 2020 at RML Hospital, Delhi as confirmed by the treating Physician and Medical Superintendent.

"All the precautionary measures as per protocol including screening, quarantine of the contacts is already taken up by the Ministry of Health , Government of Delhi and status is being monitored," the release added.

Yesterday, the government had confirmed the first death due to coronavirus in the country -- a 76-year-old man who died at Kalburgi in Karnataka on Tuesday a few days after returning from Saudi Arabia on February 29.

The total of 82 cases include three who have recovered in Kerala and seven more who have recovered at the Safdarjung hospital in Delhi.

The cases so far include 65 Indians and 17 foreigners -- 16 Italians and one Canadian.

According to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), the number of confirmed cases include 19 in Kerala, 14 each in Maharashtra and Haryana, 11 in Uttar Pradesh, seven in Delhi, six in Karnataka, three each in Rajasthan and Ladakh, and one each in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.

The government has identified more than 4,000 contacts of these cases and put them under surveillance.

"Continuous review and monitoring of the situation at the highest political and administrative levels perpetuated decisive preventive and pre-emptive actions in public interest such as travel restrictions, suspension of visas and self-quarantine measures," a press release from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

"Early establishment of point of entry surveillance and universal screening of passengers at airports and vessels at seaports, evacuation of Indian citizens from COVID-19 affected countries, adequate laboratory and quarantine facilities, have contributed immensely towards containment and management of COVID-19 in the country.

"All essential facilities like community surveillance, quarantine, isolation wards, adequate PPEs, trained manpower, rapid response teams are being strengthened further in all States and UTs," it said.

The release said that, so far, the Government has evacuated 1031 persons from coronavirus-affected countries, including 48 nationals from countries such as Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, US, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa and Peru.

Till date, 890 evacuees from COVID-19 affected countries, have been discharged after 14 days isolation and after testing negative as per protocols.

Three days after an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft brought back 58 Indians from Iran on March 10, India facilitated Mahan Air flights to bring back people from Iran, and today one flight with 44 passengers landed in Mumbai. These passengers are being kept in quarantine at the Navy facility in Mumbai. Another Mahan Air flight is expected to land tomorrow in Delhi.

"As per the need, more such special flights will be operated to bring back Indians who have tested negative. India is also coordinating treatment of positive people in Iran as per protocol," the release said.

The government has also sent a team of four doctors from the Ministry of Health to Rome. They have reached Rome with sufficient material and reagents to collect samples of Indians there for onward testing in India.