India’s first Omicron death in Rajasthan
India’s First Omicron Death | India reported 411 fresh Omicron cases on Wednesday – the highest single-day tally so far- even as the health ministry confirmed the country’s first death from the variant.
The highly infectious variant spread to two more states, Assam and Chhattisgarh, thereby covering 26 states and UTs across the country. Union joint secretary in the health ministry, Lav Agarwal, said the death of a 73-year-old patient from Udaipur in Rajasthan, which was reported on December 31, was “technically” related to Omicron. “That person had already died by the time the Omicron-positive results came,” he said.
A 73-year-old man, who was found infected with Omicron in genome sequencing and who had tested negative for the infection twice, died in a Udaipur hospital on December 31.
India’s First Omicron Death
“When he was detected as Omicron-positive, his treatment, including those for existing comorbidities, was going on as per protocol,” Agarwal added.
Dr R L Suman, superintendent at Maharana Bhupal hospital, said the man had taken both vaccine doses and was first tested for Covid-19 on December 14.
Dinesh Kharadi, Chief Medical and Health Officer, Udaipur, said the patient had complained of fever, cold and cough before this test.
“The next day, his report turned out to be positive and he was admitted at our hospital the same day, that is December 15th. We then did a repeat Covid test in seven days, on December 21, which returned negative. Following the result, we shifted him out of the Covid ward and to the medical ICU ward,” Suman told a daily.
“Meanwhile, we received confirmation of the Omicron variant through genome sequencing for his sample on December 25. As a precaution, we again tested him for Covid on December 25, which also returned negative. So we continued to keep him at the medical ICU ward where he was on a BiPap machine and eventually succumbed on December 31,” Suman said.
He said the patient “was diabetic, he had hypothyroidism, he was hypertensive, etc. and had not had Covid earlier”.
Kharadi attributed the death to “post-Covid complications”.
Suman said the hospital has seen four Omicron patients so far. The remaining three “are doing fine and are in home isolation”.
The 74-year-old is survived by a wife, a son and two daughters, and grandchildren.
Talking to The Indian Express, the 74 year old’s son, who is 50, said, “His death came as a shock to us because he wasn’t severely ill and used to move around – he had a fixed routine which involved going to Gulab Bagh. He did have diabetes but other than that, he was fine.”
“He initially had a bit of a cough and fever and took tablets to treat it. We took him to a private hospital first and his RT PCR test came positive on December 15. We isolated him and ourselves but later in the day, when his condition deteriorated, we admitted him to MBGH,” said the son, who did not wish to be named.
On December 31, 2007, the septuagenarian had retired as a nursing superintendent.
“Our mother too had exhibited Covid like symptoms and was admitted for about five days in the same hospital but she never tested positive for Covid, unlike our father. Basically, he could not recover from the damage dealt to his lungs due to Covid and his condition deteriorated continuously” he said.
“We are busy with the post-death rituals now which go on for 13 days. We used to be quite dependent on him; whenever anyone was unwell in the family or the neighbourhood, he used to help out. Losing him in this manner is quite painful,” the son said.
Local residents in Udaipur, from where the 74-year-old hailed, said they will now be extra cautious.
Yogesh Vasita, husband of the BJP councillor from ward 23, Aarti Vasita, said: “He was the only Omicron patient in our ward. After the death, we have been telling people to stay indoors and step out only when necessary. We have also been telling the families here to keep the elder members at home since they are at increased risk.”
Meanwhile, Rajasthan crossed 5,000 active Covid cases on Wednesday. Cases in the state have been spiking with Jaipur being the worst hit.
It is to mention here that on January 1, there were 301 new Covid cases, of which 192 were from Jaipur. On January 5th, the state recorded 1,883 new cases, with 1,138 of them from Jaipur. On Wednesday, Rajasthan also recorded 62 new Omicron cases, taking their total to 236 in the state.
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