Bihar sees first COVID-19 death, two test positive

Bihar sees first COVID-19 death, two test positive

A 38-year-old man from Munger has become Bihar’s first confirmed COVID-19 positive case-and its first casualty-even as the state ordered a lockdown till 31 March to prevent the spread of the virus. (Representational Image)

A 38-year-old man from Munger has become Bihar’s first confirmed COVID-19 positive case-and its first casualty-even as the state ordered a lockdown till 31 March to prevent the spread of the virus. The affected person died on Saturday in the state capital’s AIIMS hospital, where another person too tested positive for coronavirus.

The Munger man had been admitted to AIIMS on 20 March with chronic renal complications. He had returned from Qatar on 13 March and had also gone to Kolkata for follow-up treatment.

Bihar’s Principal Secretary (Health) Sanjay Kumar told The Indian Express: “The patient had died on Saturday morning but his report of being tested positive for COVID-19 arrived today. Another person admitted in AIIMS a 45-year-old man from Patna district, has also tested positive. Now, it is an arduous task to reconstruct and find out all those who met these patients at the hospital. We have been tracking them to quarantine them.” The patient from Patna, too, has a history of travel outside the country.

Separately, as per a health department order, all private institutions and offices will remain closed and commercial vehicles won’t be not allowed to ply till 31 March across the state. Essential services, including groceries, hospitals, petrol pumps, LPG are exempted.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar convened a meeting to assess the situation and announced Rs 4 lakh as compensation to next of kin of the victim. Kumar lauded the Centre’s decision to stop rail services and inter-state bus services till 31 March. The Chief Minister appealed to the people avoid community contact, and to venture out of their homes only if was necessary.

AIIMS, Patna medical superintendent C M Singh said: “The Munger person was being treated for acute renal complications. As he had a travel history, he was also tested for COVID-19. He was kept in the isolation ward.”

The hospital authorities have asked his relatives to go into mandatory quarantine for the stipulated period of 14 days.
Health secretary Kumar said: “We have asked all district hospitals to set up a control room to guide patients on treatment of suspected COVID-19. While district hospitals will have additional facilities, it will also send teams to villages in case of suspicion of any suspected cases.”

Meanwhile, the Bihar State Religious Trust Council has closed down all 4,500-odd temples across the state. The upcoming Ram Navami procession for 2 April at Patna’s Dak Bungalow has also been called off.

So far, 550 people have been kept under observation. Of them, 120 have been discharged after completed 14-day quarantine period.