Bengaluru: A 76-year-old man from Karnataka's Kalaburagi became the first victim of the deadly pandemic in India. He has been confirmed positive for COVID-19, state health minister B Sriramulu said on late Thursday night.

This is the first virus-linked death in Karnataka.


"Contact tracing, isolation and other measures are being taken. Telangana government has also been informed as he went to a hospital there," the health department commissioner said.

The man had recently returned from Saudi Arabia. Earlier, the district health and family welfare department said the man was suspected to be infected with coronavirus.

The deceased returned to Kalaburgi on February 29 from the Middle East and passed away on Wednesday. He went to a private hospital in Kalburgi district on March 5 and was admitted there following respiratory issues and hypertension.

On March 8, he was shifted to a hospital in Hyderabad in the nearby state of Telangana. His family reportedly checked him out of the hospital the same day and his death occurred late at night.

Dr Srinivas, director public health, Telangana, said they have identified the hospitals and contact tracking is on by state health authorities.

On Thursday, the number of people infected with coronavirus in India rose to 73, with fresh cases reported from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Ladakh.