Two elderly women walk towards a charity counter distributing food packets in Mumbai on Sunday. (Express)
Hours after her death, throat samples of a 40-year-old Kandivali woman tested positive for COVID-19 in KEM hospital on Saturday. This is yet another case of coronavirus transmission where civic officials have found no link of the positive case with an infected person. She also had no travel history abroad.
With her death, and that of a 45-year-old Buldhana man, who had a history of diabetes, the confirmed death toll from COVID-19 rose to eight in state. There are now 205 COVID-19 positive cases in the state.
The 40-year-old woman, the wife of an auto-rickshaw driver, developed cough, breathlessness and chest pain three days ago. Her family took her to SK Patil hospital in Malad from where she was referred to KEM hospital. “By the time she was brought, she was already in a critical condition. We put her on ventilator,” said Dr Hemant Deshmukh, dean, KEM hospital.
The woman had hypertension and high blood pressure. She was unable to breathe and required artificial breathing support. “We had to intubate her,” a resident doctor said. By Saturday evening, three hours after she was admitted in hospital, she suffered acute respiratory distress syndrome and passed away.
At least 15 KEM hospital staffers, including resident doctors, nurses and ward boys from emergency ward’s intensive care unit, have been quarantined in the hospital. A hospital staffer said as a precaution they are wearing personal protective equipment for every patient who visits the emergency ward. “We had worn protective gear when we intubated her. The risk of infection is low,” a doctor said.
Seven of the woman’s close contacts, including her husband, son and neighbours, have been tested for coronavirus. Their results are awaited. “We have not managed to take a detailed history from the family. We initially suspected the husband must have driven someone from the international airport and caught the infection from the passenger. But he said he hasn’t driven any such passenger,” a civic official said. The housewife had not stepped out of their flat in the last fortnight, the family informed BMC. “She only interacted with neighbours,” the civic official said.
The building where her family lives was sanitised on Saturday. “Her case seems to have deteriorated very quickly and we did not get a chance to trace all contacts. Once cremation is over, we will be taking a detailed statement from her family to understand how she may have got infected,” a civic official said.
Vidarbha recorded its first coronavirus death in Buldhana. Also, Nagpur registered three new positive cases, taking the total number of affected persons to 14, four of whom have already been discharged. “A 45-year-old man, a teacher in a municipal school of Buldhana, died on Saturday night at the government hospital. He was suffering from pneumonia and was being treated at a private hospital. Yesterday, he was referred and rushed to the government hospital but within hours his condition deteriorated and he died. We sent his samples for test. Today, the report said he had tested positive,” Amravati Divisional Commissioner Piyush Singh told The Indian Express. Asked if the man had any travel history, Singh said, “No.”
Following the death, the district administration is on alert about possible community spread of the virus.
In Pune, four persons tested positive for COVID-19; three on Sunday, one late Saturday night. A father (65) and daughter (30) from near marketyard slum area at Gultekdi tested positive, said Dr Sanjeev Wavare, assistant medical chief at PMC. They had returned from Dubai on March 9. They have been admitted to Naidu hospital and their contacts are being traced.
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