A 76-year-old man who died two days ago in Karnataka while being treated for suspected coronavirus has become India's first COVID-19 fatality with his samples taken earlier confirming the infection, the state government said on Thursday.
State Health Minister B Sriramulu in a tweet said the necessary contact tracing, isolation and other measures as per protocol were being taken.
"The 76 year old man from Kalbauragi 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," he said.
The man, who recently returned from Saudi Arabia, had died on Tuesday night.
Officials said the patient had severe co-morbidities such as history of hypertension, diabetes and asthma and appendicitis.
State Joint Director (Communicable Diseases) B G Prakash Kumar said all protocols were followed for disposal of the body.
"The body is disinfectants completely and disposed as per the Government of India guidelines," he added when asked to elaborate on the protocols.
He said the Telangana government has also been informed as the man had gone to a private hospital there earlier.
While announcing the death of the man, the authorities had said the exact cause his death was being ascertained.
Sriramulu had on Wednesday had said there was no confirmation that the death was due to coronavirus and test reports of his samples were awaited.
He said the person had gone to Saudi Arabia in January end and came back on February 29.
On his return, he was down with fever and took treatment at a private hospital. Later, on the advice of doctors or family he had gone to Hyderabad, the minister had said.
A senior health department official had said the man died on the way back from Hyderabad around 11 pm on Tuesday.
The state has already reported five confirmed COVID-19 cases. A 26-year-old man who returned from Greece tested positive for coronavirus, making it the fifth case, the health department said on Thursday.