Health ministry wrongly attributes Delhi man’s death to corona; toll revised to 9Updated: Mar 25, 2020 23:36 IST
The Union health ministry, on Wednesday morning, reduced the Covid-19 nationwide death toll by one and clarified that the test report of a Delhi man who died Tuesday night was negative for coronavirus infection. With this, the total death count stands at nine, and not 10 as stated on Tuesday night, when the ministry had declared a second Covid-19 death in Delhi.
The health ministry website, on Wednesday morning, clarified that the “second death reported in Delhi is Covid-19 negative.”
“The preliminary test of the Delhi man had come positive for coronavirus infection and the website was updated based on that. However, the later confirmatory test showed that he did not have the disease,” Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, Union health ministry, said.
The Tuesday night update had Delhi’s Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) unit frantically calling up its officials and those of the union health ministry to find out who had died. “We had not informed the ministry officials about the death. I do not know how the website got updated,” a senior official from Delhi’s health department, on condition of anonymity, said. Delhi officials had insisted even on Tuesday night that the death cannot be declared as due to Covid-19 until the final confirmatory results are in.
The authorities later figured out that a 60-year-old man with Covid-19 like symptoms – fever and cough– whose samples had been collected for tests, had died at the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital in Tahirpur.
“The man had come to us with arrhythmias and needed an angioplasty. However, he had symptoms of mild fever and cough. When the treating doctor took his history, they came to know that one of his family members had just returned from Saudi Arabia. Hence, we sent his samples for the Covid-19 test. But, before the results could come, he died of complications on Tuesday night at the hospital,” Dr BL Sherwal, director, Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, an autonomous institute under the Delhi government, said.
The hospital has an isolation facility for Covid-19 patients where currently 16 suspected and five positive cases are admitted.