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The death of a 76-year-old man from north Karnataka due to coronavirus is a rumour, said a senior health official on Wednesday.

"It is clarified that the rumours floating in the media regarding the death of the man from Kalaburgi owing to COVID-19 is false," said state Health Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey in a statement.

Pandey said the deceased person's sample has been sent for testing.

He requested the media to help the government create awareness and not creating panic.

The deceased person returned to Kalaburgi on February 29 and passed away on Wednesday. He incidentally showed flu-like symptoms and was admitted in a hospital on March 5.

However, his family members moved him to another hospital in Hyderabad on Tuesday, disobeying medical advice.

Karnataka Health Minister B. Sriramulu said the old man was a coronavirus suspect.

"For the benefit of the citizens, the district health department has taken some precautions for the funeral of the deceased. This should not create any unnecessary confusion and fear," said Sriramulu.

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