The deceased was tested positive for the virus on Saturday night Credit: Representational image

Gangtok: Sikkim reported its first COVID-19 related death on Sunday morning, when a 74-year-old man from Rongli, East Sikkim passed away at STNM Hospital in Gangtok.

The deceased, identified as Ghanashyam Pradhan, was a retired government high school headmaster and was popularly known as GS sir.

Informing about his death, Dr CS Sharma, medical superintendent at STNM Hospital, said that at 8.30 pm on Saturday, a patient was brought from Rongli. The 74-year old patient was not in quarantine centre or any isolation, he was at home.

“When he started having breathing difficulties, he was tested on Rapid Antigen Test, and was found to be COVID-19 positive. He was a co-morbid case with hypertension and diabetes and died at 8.30 am this morning,” added Dr Sharma.

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Condoling his death, chief minister Prem Singh Golay said, “I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing away of Shri Ghanashyam Pradhan, 73, resident of Rongli who lost his battle against COVID-19 earlier this morning at STNM hospital.”

“In this moment of grief, my heart goes out to his family and friends, and pray that God will grant them the strength to deal with their loss,” he added.

The CM appealed everyone to remain calm and to continue following the guidelines. “Although this is unfortunate, our doctors have been doing their best to combat and contain the virus. Let us pray for their safety and hope such untoward incident will not occur again,” Golay said.

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Meanwhile, a 24-year-old suspected case of COVID-19 also passed away in the wee hours of Sunday.

The girl was a domestic help from Rhenock, most probably not a Sikkimese resident. She was in the suspect ward and brought about five days ago. It is yet to be ascertained if she was COVID positive or not, as her RTPCR test results are not back, but most probably she died of COVID, said Dr Sharma.

He informed that the suspected patient came in with complaints of fever and abdomen pain. “As she came from a red zone and she taken as a suspect case. She died at 2.30 am last night. It is not clear if she was positive or not. Report was yet to be ascertained,” he said.

On the last rites procedure, the medical superintendent said, “They have to be buried as per the national guidelines, with limited number of people in attendance. It is sad and alarming. Burial should not be a problem but those attending the funeral will have to be wear PPE.”

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