MALAPPURAM: An 85-year-old man from Malappuram who tested negative for COVID-19 three separate times died at Manjeri Government Medical College Hospital on Saturday. The District Medical Officer K Sakeena told The New Indian Express that he cannot be considered a COVID-19 victim.
"Veerankutty was supposed to be discharged from the hospital last Monday with six other people as he had tested negative for COVID-19 in two consecutive tests till then. As per the treatment protocol, two negative results are enough to confirm that a person is negative for the disease. However, we decided to keep him at the hospital for a couple of days more to complete the course of his medication and considering his age," she said.
"Then, on Monday, the patient developed myocardial infarction and sustained a kidney problem. We treated him at the hospital for the new complications and later his health condition became stable. At that time, we again tested his swab. The result of that also came back negative. So, his death cannot be included in the list of deaths due to COVID-19," Sakeena clarified.
She said Veerankutty developed high fever on Thursday. "We confirmed that the patient had a urinary tract infection. Later he developed septicaemia (a life-threatening complication that happens when bacteria enter the blood and spread throughout the body) and multiple organ disinfection syndrome. He had been under medication for illnesses, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease for the past 42 years. We will record that he has succumbed to complications from multiple illnesses," she added.
Meanwhile, the health department handed over the body of Veerankutty to his family members. His last rites will be conducted without following the special protocol for COVID-19 victims. However, the family members will have to follow the restrictions related to the curfew during the burial.
Veerankutty is a resident of Keezhattur and after he tested positive, health authorities conducted several tests collecting random samples from the Keezhattur panchayat. He worked as a religious healer in the area and treated many people in the district during the curfew.