AGENCY Amritsar: A Padma Shri awardee and former ‘Hazuri Raagi’ at the Golden Temple who was undergoing treatment for coronavirus here died early Thursday morning, taking the COVID-19-related death toll to five in the state, a health official said. Nirmal Singh, 62, had recently returned from abroad and tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, the official said. Principal, Government Medical College, Sujata Sharma said his condition started deteriorating on Wednesday evening and he was put on ventilator support. He died at 4:30 AM on Thursday. The ‘Gurbani’ exponent was admitted to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital here for chest infection after he had complained of breathlessness and dizziness, she said. According to officials, he had held a large ‘sammelan’ (religious gathering) in Delhi and some other places after he returned from abroad. He had also performed a ‘kirtan’ at a house in Chandigarh on March 19 along with his family members and other relatives. The samples of his two daughters, son, wife, a driver and six others, who went along with him to Chandigarh, would be taken for testing for the virus, officials said. The Chandigarh administration has also been informed about the religious gathering at sector 27 in Chandigarh to take necessary steps in this regard, they said. Singh was awarded the Padma Shri in 2009. He had the knowledge of all the 31 ‘Raags’ in the Gurbani of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhism. With his death, the total count of COVID-19-related deaths rose to five in the state. Punjab has so far reported total 46 coronavirus cases — 19 from Nawanshahr, 10 from Mohali, six from Hoshiarpur, five from Jalandhar, three from Ludhiana, two from Amritsar and one from Patiala.
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