Amid rising cases of the JN.1 subvariant of the novel coronavirus in the country, Karnataka’s health department on Wednesday said a 64-year-old man who tested positive for Covid and presented with several comorbidities passed away five days ago in Bengaluru.
However, the department has not been able to identify if he contracted the JN.1 strain.
Addressing the press on Wednesday, Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao said that the man who hailed from Chamarajpet, and whose name was not revealed by the department, was admitted to Mallige Hospital on December 14 and passed away the next day.
“He (the victim) had hypertension, lung disease, bronchial asthma and pulmonary tuberculosis. He had a heart failure and went into a cardiogenic shock. He also had pneumonia and was positive for Covid,” he said. The minister added that the department hadn’t been able to confirm if the victim had tested positive for the JN.1 variant.
As a precautionary measure, the health department has ramped up testing. “We have directed all health workers in both government and private hospitals to compulsorily wear masks because they will have greater exposure to the virus,” he said.
He added that the state had tested nearly 1,020 people for Covid over the past 24 hours, the highest across all states.
“We intend to increase testing every day, and by Saturday, we want to test at least 5,000 people every day. All SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Infection) cases across the state, in both government and private hospitals, must compulsorily undergo RT-PCR testing,” he said, adding that the state government will soon release an advisory directing the same. One in 20 Influenza-Like Illnesses (ILIs) will also need to undergo RT-PCR testing, the minister said. Meanwhile, another person who tested positive for Covid died in a private hospital in the city on Wednesday. He, too, suffered from comorbidities and died due to that, said hospital sources.
(Published 20 December 2023, 22:09 IST)