Punjab: The sample of a 72-year-old man, who returned from Germany via Italy a fortnight ago and died at a hospital in Punjab's Nawanshahr district after severe chest pain, has tested positive for novel coronavirus, senior officials said on Thursday. It is the fourth confirmed death from the novel coronavirus in India.

The septuagenarian, who had diabetes and hypertension, tested positive after he died at the Banga community health centre on Wednesday, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) director Jagat Ram said.

When contacted, district civil surgeon Rajinder Prasad Bhatia said the man had arrived from Germany via Italy on March 7.

The resident of Banga came to the health centre with severe chest pain on Wednesday and immediately collapsed. He died later in the day, Bhatia said.

"The sample of a 72-year-old man from Nawanshahr has tested positive," PGIMER director Ram Director Jagat Ram told PTI on Thursday, adding that the report came on Wednesday night.

State principal secretary (health) Anurag Aggarwal confirmed that the sample of the Banga resident had tested positive.

The number of novel coronavirus cases rose to 169 on Thursday after 18 fresh cases were reported from various parts of the country, according to the Union health ministry.

Punjab had earlier reported a confirmed case of coronavirus.