Mumbai: 64-year-old man kept in isolation after testing positive for coronavirus, dies

Updated: Mar 18, 2020, 08:11 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

While his wife and son are still in isolation, health officials said many others who had tested positive are on the road to recovery; one more city patient is under observation

Police at Kasturba Hospital. Pic/Ashish Raje
Police at Kasturba Hospital. Pic/Ashish Raje

A 64-year-old man became the first casualty of Coronavirus in the state, when he died on Tuesday morning, while he was kept in isolation at the Kasturba Hospital. He also had pneumonia and underlying cardiac issues. He was cremated on Tuesday evening. His wife and son could not attend the funeral as they had also tested positive and are in isolation at Kasturba Hospital.

Senior civic officials said that the man also had hypertension. "The patient was on a non-invasive ventilator and his condition was fluctuating. We tried to revive him and wean him off the ventilator but weren't able to and he passed away at 7 am on Tuesday," said a senior civic official. Civic officials said that while the condition of most of the patients is improving, one is still being kept under close observation.

The man's wife, 63, and son, 32, had also tested positive and are in isolation at the Kasturba Hospital and weren't allowed to attend the last rites. His son has also travelled abroad. Civic officials said that few other family members had turned up for the last rites. His body was taken to a crematorium in Shivaji Park by them. "His wife and son were able to pay their respects at the isolation facility since they could not be allowed to leave the hospital premises. His body was disposed off as per the guidelines," said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner.

Kasturba Hospital is the only facility for testing for Coronavirus in the city. File pic
Kasturba Hospital is the only facility for testing for Coronavirus in the city. File pic

Since the patient had tested positive for an infectious disease like Coronavirus, protocol discourages conducting a post mortem. The civic officials said that the patient had also developed septicemia (a bloodstream infection) and died due to pneumonia, inflated heart muscles and increased heart rate.

The man had travelled to Dubai for work and returned to Mumbai on March 5. His symptoms had started to show on March 7 and he was admitted at Hinduja Hospital the next day. He was diagnosed with Coronavirus on March 12 and was shifted to Kasturba Hospital the next day.

'More must be tested'
While 15 patients have tested positive so far, many of them were asymptomatic. When asked whether patients who tested positive but didn©t have any symptoms could spread the infection, Dr Om Srivastava, infectious disease specialist at Jaslok Hospital said that there is a very possible chance and said the figures may be under reported. "Like it is being done in South Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia, we should be looking at more samples. Testing more people is the only way to understand how this virus spreads," said Dr Srivastava.

March 7
When the man's symptoms started to show

March 12
When he was diagnosed with Coronavirus

Disposal of bodies infected by virus

. Cremation is recommended, preferably in electric or CNG crematoriums
. The remains should not be sprayed, washed or embalmed
. The bodies are recommended to be taken for cremation or burial directly from the hospital or mortuary, preferably, on the day of death
. Practice hand hygiene
. Personal Protective Equipment should be put on at the site of collection of human remains and worn during the process of collection and placement in a body bag
. Remains should be wrapped in sealed, leak-proof material and should be cremated/buried promptly
. During transportation, deceased persons should be carried in an air sealed bag; if not possible, by covering with clothes.
. Religious preparation of the body should be avoided and health worker should explain it to relatives to carry out cremation. Relatives should only be allowed to stand at a minimum of one meter from the body.

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