Kerala man admitted to coronavirus isolation ward in hospital dies
A man admitted to a Kottayam hospital’s coronavirus isolation ward has died, a Kerala government official said on Friday. The district medical officer attributed the death to septicemia and underlined that the 72-year-old patient had not tested positive.
“He had been kept in isolation as a precaution since he had come in contact with some coronavirus-infected people in Kottayam,” district medical officer AN Sheeja said.
Kerala has reported 17 of India’s 81 confirmed coronavirus cases.
State government officials are awaiting the initial coronavirus test results for the person.
The development comes just a day after the central government confirmed the country’s first coronavirus-linked death in neighbouring Karnataka. The test results, which confirmed that the 76-year-old man who died two days earlier in the state’s Kalburgi district was coronavirus positive, had come in last night.
According to the Union health ministry communique issued late last night, the 76-year-old had spent a month in Saudi Arabia. “He was a known case of hypertension and asthma,” the health ministry had said, underlining that his death was caused due to comorbidity, a reference to more than one disorder in the same person.
“All the precautionary measures as per protocol such as contact tracing, screening and home quarantine of the contacts have been initiated by the District Health and Family Welfare Department in Karnataka and being monitored continuously,” the communique further said.
Though the rate of fatality is very low in case of coronavirus, it is very infectious. The virus starts from the upper respiratory system, and from the back of the throat moves to lower respiratory system like lungs, and finally to blood. Once inside the body, the virus uses a spike-like protein to bind with a receptor called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) found on the respiratory cells, entering it and replicating to spread the infection within.
As the virus keeps multiplying, it causes inflammation in the alveoli or lung sacs filling them fluid and pus causing pneumonia. The inflamed lungs make it difficult for the person to breathe leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome between day eight and day 15 of the onset of symptoms.
The government has put in place very stringent measures to stop the outbreak. In a partial shutdown of sorts, it has suspended almost all the visas for a month and is vigorously involved in contact tracing to identify who the Covid-19 patients came in contact with.
The government has also asked states to invoke the provisions of the 1897 Epidemics Act to stop the spread of virus.