Shimla: A 69 year old exiled Tibetan who returned from United States on 15th March died from COVID -19 on Monday morning at Tanda medical College in Kangra.
The Tibetan is the first victim of the Chinese virus in Himachal Pradesh and the 1oth person in India to have died from the contagion that many countries, including Italy, Iran, Spain & USA are battling to contain globally.
“Considering the gravity of the situation, all medical staff of a private hospital who initially treated the patient have been quarantined,” said RD Dhiman, additional chief secretary health, Himachal Pradesh.
“The Tibetan national arrived from the USA on 15 March and stayed at Delhi for some time,” said Dhiman, giving details of the victims travel history.
He arrived at McLeodganj on 21st morning.
Today morning he complained of chest congestion and was taken to a private hospital at Kangra. When his condition deteriorated, he was shifted to RP Govt Medical College, Tanda, where he died, said the senior government official spearheading the states drive to contain spread of the deadly virus in the region.
“A lab test of a sample taken from the patient after his death has turned up coronavirus positive,” said Dhiman.
Earlier the first two coronavirus positive cases in the state, presently under quarantine at Tanda Medical College, also had turned up in the district. Both patients have a travel history.
A lady patient returned from Dubai and a young man from Singapore, and both had turned out COVID positive.
The district administration is on a drive to identify those who may be infected by this virus and need to isolated. The official machinery is out tracing all the persons that the Tibetan victim came into contact with after reaching McLeodganj.
“The taxi-driver who brought him to McLeodganj has been identified. The driver and his family have been put under quarantine,” said Dhiman.
Under directives from the central government, the district was put under a prolonged lockdown on Sunday. Officials have been directed to prepare a list of all those who recently have arrived from abroad or from other parts of the country.
“A list of all those who have recently arrived from abroad and also of those who have arrived from other parts of the country is being prepared, said Rakesh Kumar Prajapti, deputy commissioner Kangra.
The list is expected to be ready by Tuesday afternoon. Revenue officials with panchayat functionaries have been the task of collecting the information
“Kangra residents have been communicated about necessary quarantine of all those who have arrived from other states. All those who have returned from other countries but don’t have any symptoms need to undergo on home quarantine and those having some symptoms have to be brought for isolation,” said Prajapti.