Bihar reports first Covid-19 death; another woman tests positive

Patna, Mar 22 (PTI) Bihar on Sunday reported its first COVID-19 death as a 38-year-old man with a travel history to Qatar died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Patna, where he was admitted after seeking treatment at PMCH and a hospital in Munger, a government official said. Another woman, who is suspected to have come in contact with one of her Italy-returned relatives, has also tested positive in the city and is currently undergoing treatment at the hospital.

The deceased, a resident of Munger district, was admitted to the hospital on Friday with a kidney ailment, hospital superintendent CM Singh said.

Doctors noticed that he was also suffering from respiratory problems, following which his samples were sent to the Rajendra Memorial Research Institute (RMRI) here.

The man, who was on dialysis, died on Saturday, but his COVID-19 test results from RMRI came only on Sunday morning, Singh said.

The hospital superintendent also said that shortly after his death, the doctors handed over the body to the family members wrapped in a plastic bag.

Asked if his family members stand a chance of contracting the disease, he said, 'A person can get infected only when another infected coronavirus patient coughs and sneezes...The transmission cannot happen from the dead body as it was handed over to the family in a plastic bag.

'I did not know that the deceased was Covid-19 positive at the time the body was handed over to his family.' All doctors and nurses attending to suspected and confirmed novel coronavirus patients are taking precautionary measures, Singh said.

He, however, did not clarify if the family members of the 38-year-old man visited him during the course of treatment at the hospital.

Official sources said the 38-year-old had visited a hospital in Munger and Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) before his admission in AIIMS.

Meanwhile, Sanjay Kumar, the Health Department Principal Secretary, said details of the deceased's travel history will be found out and necessary action will be taken as per the Standard Operating Protocol (SOP).

Referring to the second positive case in the state, he said, his department has information that the woman, a resident of Patna, came in contact with a relative who recently returned from Italy.

Efforts are being made to ascertain the number of people she came in contact with in the last few days, he said.

Door-to-door survey will be conducted within three-km radius of any home from where COVID-19 positive case is reported in the state, Kumar said.

'Everybody who comes in contact with COVID-19 patients will be traced and placed under quarantine,' he asserted.

Asked if the Bihar government is planning to impose a complete lockdown in the state, Kumar said that necessary actions will be taken to prevent the spread of the disease.

At least 13 new suspected cases of COVID-19 have been reported from Patna in the past 24 hours, taking the total number at the PMCH to 23.

Earlier in the day, the AIIMS, Patna, superintendent had said six suspected patients of COVID-19 at the hospital are currently waiting for test results. PTI AR RMS TIR