MADURAI: Tamil Nadu recorded its first death of a COVID-19 patient. Patient 12, the 54-year-old male, resident of Anna Nagar in Madurai, succumbed in the wee hours of Wednesday.
Health Minister C Vijayabaskar announced the man’s death on Twitter, stating that despite the medical team’s best efforts the man, who was being treated at Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai, had died.
He added that the man had a medical history of prolonged illness with steroid-dependent COPD, “uncontrolled” diabetes with hypertension.
Just hours earlier, the minister had tweeted that the victim’s condition was deteriorating and he was not responding to treatment.
Madurai Collector TG Vinay told Express that the patient had been on ventilator support since Monday evening.
"The patient, an employee of a construction company, was not a regular visitor to the construction site. However, he did go to the office. The places of his regular visits including the mosque, private hotel and the office have been disinfected by the corporation workers," Vinay said.
The patient was rushed to a private hospital on Saturday with symptoms of acute respiratory illness. Doctors suspected viral pneumonia and he was tested for H1N1 (swine flu) before being shifted to GRH. On Sunday, when the test for H1N1 came negative, he was then tested for COVID-19. Unfortunately, the result this time was positive.
Initially, the victim’s case caused concerns as he had no history of travel abroad or to other states. The man had attended a wedding reception on March 9 at a city hotel, which also accommodated tourists from Thailand and Indonesia. On March 13, the patient organised a religious meeting with preachers from Thailand at an Anna Nagar mosque, to which he was regular visitor.
However, on Tuesday, Vijayabaskar told reporters that the man had been in contact with a group of Thai nationals -- two members of that group tested positive for COVID-19 and are being treated at IRT Hospital in Perundurai, Erode.
His family members were isolated and screened for symptoms of COVID-19 at the GRH. The health status of 60 others including the ones who attended the wedding reception are being traced and monitored under home quarantine.
Sources at the Madurai health department told Express that the group had been visiting the city as part of a tour of religious places. Officials said the patient came in contact with the group when they visited a private lodge in the city on March 12 and 13. Officials said the group arrived at Madurai airport on March 12 and visited several mosques in the city. As a result, at least 60 persons had been placed under home quarantine.