Powerful journalism on tap - Download The Kashmir Monitor app.

Iran-returned patient dies in Leh; Suspected to be first COVID death in India

Srinagar: An elderly Iran-returned patient who passed away at a Leh hospital Sunday morning is suspected to be the first death cue to coronavirus in India.

75-year-old Ali Mohammad, who hailed from Chochuk village in Leh, was admitted at Sonam Norboo Memorial Hospital (SNM) hospital on March 6 after he suffered from some respiratory issues.

The patient passed away early Sunday morning.

Medical Superintendent SNM Hospital, Dr Tsering Samphel told The Kashmir Monitor that the patient had recently travelled to Iran and was admitted with complaints of urinary incontinence and respiratory issues.

“We collected his sample yesterday and sent it to Delhi but the patient passed away today morning,” he said.

Asked about the cause of death, the MS said that the patient suffered from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD).

Contrary to claims made by media reports, Dr Samphel said the patient did not have any contact with the two who have been tested positive and are kept in isolation in the same hospital.

The MS said the test report will take around five to six days.

“We cannot say anything so far, we believe that the tests will come negative,” he said.

Asked about the state of the two patients who had tested positive, the doctor said that they were recovering well in total isolation.

“Previously they were on injection now they have been given oral medicine and showing a lot of improvement,” he said.

The two patients who had tested positive on Saturday had travelled to Iran for pilgrimage for several days. 

Dr Samphel said that one of the patients admitted to SNM hospital had reached Delhi from Tehran on February 26 after which he landed in Ladakh on February 28.

The other patient, the MS said, had landed in Delhi on February 22 and arrived in Ladakh on February 27, and showed some early symptoms due to which he was admitted to SNM hospital on February 29.

After conducting the tests of suspects the samples were sent to Pune for final confirmation, the results received Saturday afternoon showed them as ‘positive for coronavirus’, Dr Samphel said.