27-yr-old did not die due to COVID: Health Secy clarifies

Gangtok, 17 Jun:

After a 27-year-old Delhi returnee passed away on the night of 16 June, there was some panic among the Sikkimese who assumed that he had died due to COVID-19. However, in his daily health bulletin on Wednesday, Health Secretary, Dr PT Bhutia clarified that the cause of the youngster’s death was not COVID. The deceased had been diagnosed with Tuberculosis which is suspected to be the cause of death.

The Secretary mentioned that the 27-year-old had returned to Sikkim on 05 June and was in a paid quarantine facility. On complaints of cold and fever, his sample was tested by TrueNat in STNM hospital on 12 June for which he tested negative. However, as his symptoms persisted, his sample underwent RT-PCR testing the next day which also came back negative. A repeat RT-PCR test on 15 June also came back negative.

Doctors then suspected that he might have TB which was confirmed by tests. He was then prescribed medicines and sent for home quarantine on 16 June.

The same night when his condition worsened, he was taken to CRH Tadong where he was declared brought dead. On the request of CRH staff, another sample was taken to confirm that the deceased did not have COVID. This test also came back negative.

Dr Bhutia has appealed to the people not to fall for rumors and stigmatize anyone.