A Tanzanian PhD student, Ngowi Emanuel Harrison, died in India on April 26 of Covid-19 complications.
A report by The Indian Express confirms that Harrison, 34, had joined the Ph.D. course for Business Economics at the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara, on March 27, and tested positive for Covid-19 on April 21.
According to Indian officials, Harrison died after experiencing a sudden drop in oxygen levels.
Director of the Office of International Affairs at MSU, Prof. Dhanesh Patel, explained that about 40 foreign national students were tested for Covid-19 recently, with three of the results proving positive — one from Gambia and two from Tanzania.
“The student [Harrison] had arrived in India on March 27. He complained of some symptoms on April 21 but his Rapid Antigen Test came back negative. We then went for an RT-PCR test, which was positive. He was taken to SSG Hospital for treatment but since his SpO2 level was good, he was shifted to the Yagnapurush Complex at Atladara, which is an extension of the government hospitals. On April 26 morning, his oxygen level dropped all of a sudden and he was rushed to Gotri hospital, where he was put on BiPAP and ventilatory support since the oxygen level was not stabilizing. He passed away on April 26 night,” Patel said.
Though the deceased’s family initially consented to burial in India, Patel said that Harrison’s sister had written to the Embassy of Tanzania in India for repatriation of the body to its home country.
“We have been in touch with the family and we are carrying out all the procedures to be able to send the body back to Tanzania. We have obtained the police certificates and other necessary documents and the embassy will make arrangements to take the body back to his family,” Patel said.
Patel confirmed that the two other African students, who were in contact with Harrison and tested positive, are “stable and recovering well”.