Bengaluru: Fear gripped Karnataka on Friday the Thirteenth as a 76-year-old man from Kalaburagi became the first Covid-19 fatality in India and a Google employee and other techies tested positive for the virus.
Though the senior citizen had died on March 10, it was only late Thursday night that the results of his samples came in confirming that he was infected.
He had arrived from Saudi Arabia on February 29. Though he had arrived from a Covid-19-affected country, his symptoms were misleading and tests for coronavirus were delayed due to old age-related complications such as breathing difficulty, asthma and hypertension.
His throat swab samples reached a Bengaluru lab only on March 11.
What is of deep worry for officials is that the deceased may have exposed many people to the virus – passengers who sat near him in the flight, his family members, car and ambulance drivers and staff and the medical team that attended to him.
“Forty-three people, including his family members and doctors, who had come into contact with him are under home isolation, and are being monitored closely,” a health official said.
Five days after his arrival, he developed complications and was admitted to a private hospital in Kalaburagi. Against medical advice, his family shifted him to a hospital in Hyderabad on March 9.
The next day he was brought back in an ambulance from Hyderabad. “He died on way to Kalaburagi, we don’t know when or where exactly,” an official said.
“Telangana has been informed about the positive result, for necessary followup action,” health and family welfare commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey said.
Meanwhile, Google in India has confirmed that an employee at their Bengaluru office has tested positive for coronavirus.
“We can confirm that an employee from our Bangalore office has been diagnosed with COVID-19. They were in one of our Bangalore offices for a few hours before developing any symptoms. The employee has been on quarantine since then and we have asked colleagues who were in close contact with the employee to quarantine themselves and monitor their health, said Google India in a statement on Friday.
Out of an abundance of caution, we are asking employees in that Bangalore office to work from home tomorrow. We have taken and will continue to take all necessary precautionary measures, following the advice of public health officials, as we prioritize everyone’s health and safety, the statement added.
In another development, two employees of tech giants Mindtree and Dell also tested positive for coronavirus.