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Guwahati-based doctor Utpaljit Barman died of a “heart attack” on March 29 and his death may not be directly linked with consumption of anti-malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine.

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Authorities on March 31 clarified that while Barman and some of his colleagues may have been taking the medicine which is seen as a deterrent for novel Coronavirus disease, the “unfortunate death cannot be linked to consumption of the drug”.

Speaking to The News Mill, Medical Superintendent at Pratiksha Hospital, Nirmal Kumar Hazarika said that the death of Utpaljit Barman was due to acute Myocardial Infraction (MI) which is commonly known as heart attack and it can’t be linked to consumption of Hydroxychloroquine. Barman was working at the Partiksha Hospital in Guwahati as an anaesthetist.

Hazarika said that not just Barman but several doctors and medical practitioners have been taking Hydroxychloroquine as a precautionary measure for COVID-19.

“Around 15 doctors were present during that time (of death). And we don’t think his death is caused due to the consumption of Hydroxychloroquine. Not just him, many of the doctors have consumed it. Moreover, Barman was a patient of hypertension. The sign and symptoms indicate that it’s acute Myocardial Infraction,” Hazarika told The News Mill.

Several contrasting reports were doing rounds on the social media which tried to link the consumption of Hydroxychloroquine to the death of the 44-year-old doctor.

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On March 30, an official at GNRC Hospital, where Barman was taken for treatment, said that his death certificate mentions the cause of death as cardiac arrest. “The death certificate mentioned that he died of cardiac arrest. I won’t be able to add anything to that,” he said when asked specifically about the usage of Hydroxychloroquine.

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