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Coronavirus outbreak: Death in Karnataka, new cases in Kerala

It was the 14th coronavirus-related death in the country till Thursday evening
Medical staff wear masks and protective suits to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus outside the special isolation ward of a hospital in Kochi.

Our Special Correspondent   |   Bangalore   |   Published 26.03.20, 08:42 PM

A 70-year-old woman with a history of travelling to Saudi Arabia has died in Banglaore, becoming the second Covid-19 patient to die in Karnataka.

The daily bulletin from the state health department confirmed that the woman who returned from Saudi Arabia on March 14 had died on March 24.

It was the 14th coronavirus-related death in the country till Thursday evening.

A resident of Chikkaballapura near here, she was admitted to a government hospital in the city.

“The last rites have been conducted with all the precautionary measures in line with the guidelines issued by the Union government,” the department stated in the bulletin.

A 76-year-old man from Gulbarga who died on March 12 had become the country’s first coronavirus casualty.

He too had travelled to Saudi Arabia before being testing positive for coronavirus.

Neighbouring Kerala confirmed 19 more coronavirus positive cases on Thursday, taking the total number to 138. The total figure includes the 12 patients who were cured and discharged in Kerala.

Nine of those who tested positive on Thursday were in Kannur, three each in Kasaragod and Malappuram, two in Trissur, and one each in Wayanad and Idukki.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state was ready for any eventuality. Private hospitals and college hostels will be used to admit more patients, if it came to that.

“We have 879 private hospitals with 69,434 beds ready to take patients. They have a total of 5607 ICU beds,” Pinarayi said. “We also have 716 hostels with 15,333 rooms which are undergoing repair to be kept in an emergency.”

The chief minister said 43 community kitchens had started offering free food to the needy.

Pinarayi had on Wednesday said “no one will starve” in Kerala during the lockdown. He had already announced free rations to everyone, irrespective of their financial status. But as there were people with no ration cards, the chief minister said even they would be provided with the free rations.

Transporters were facing problems along the state’s borders since the neighbouring states have often stopped them from crossing over to Kerala.

Pinarayi said: “We will send convoys of trucks to bring food items. To make sure they don’t have problems we will talk to the states concerned and even the Centre.”


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