The Centre on Wednesday (January 5) confirmed that a 74-year-old man from Rajasthan, who died last week, was the first Omicron patient to die in the country.
According to reports, the man, fully vaccinated against COVID, had tested negative for the virus twice after being admitted to Udaipur’s Maharana Bhupal hospital. He, however, died on December 31.
The patient named Laxminarayan Nagar reportedly had diabetes and other co-morbidities including hypothyroidism and hypertension.
“Technically, it is an Omicron-related death. He was an elderly person who had diabetes and comorbid conditions. When he was detected as Omicron positive, his treatment, including those for existing comorbidities, was going on as per protocol,” Joint Secretary of Health and Family Welfare Lav Agarwal told the media.
The man had complained of fever, cough and cold before he was tested for COVID on December 14, Dinesh Kharadi, the Chief Medical and Health Officer of Udaipur told media.
While the test results came out negative on December 21, his samples were sent for genome sequencing. The genome sequencing results which came on December 25, showed the man was infected with the Omicron variant. He died six days later.
Kharadi said the patient died of post-COVID complications.
The first death comes at a time when the country is witnessing a surge in cases of both COVID and its variant Omicron. India has 2,135 cases of Omicron, with Maharashtra at 653 accounting for the highest share, followed by Delhi (464).
India on Wednesday logged 58,097 new infections, a 55 per cent jump from Tuesday’s tally of 37,379 cases.
According to the government, the country has reported over 6.3 times spike in infections in the last eight days with the case positivity rate rising from 0.79 per cent on December 29, 2021 to 5.03 per cent on January 5, 2022.
In the midst of the Omicron crisis, India is inoculating teens in the age group of 15-18 while over 147 crore of its adult population over 18 have already been vaccinated.