Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa, 67, a Padma Shri awardee and a former hazoori ragi (Gurbani exponent) at Golden Temple, passed away after a heart attack at 4.30am on Thursday, a day after he was diagnosed with coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Amritsar civil surgeon Dr Prabhdeep Kaur Johal said he was put on ventilator on Wednesday night after his condition worsened due to his bronchial asthma.
With his death, the toll due to Covid-19 in Punjab has risen to six.
Bhai Nirmal Singh was referred to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital (GNDH) from the local Shri Guru Ram Das Hospital on March 30 after he complained of breathlessness.
“He visited England in November. A health department team visited his house on March 3 after we got the information that two guests – his uncle and aunt – from the US visited him. They were found asymptomatic. When the home quarantine period of the guests was over on March 17, they were found asymptomatic. Bhai Nirmal Singh then went to Chandigarh for a kirtan samagam on March 19 where over 100 people gathered,” Dr Johal said.
“He tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday. He may have caught the infection during his trip to Chandigarh. He died of sudden cardiac arrest on Thursday,” she said.
Punjab special chief secretary Karan Bir Singh Sidhu also confirmed the news by tweeting, “Bhai Nirmal Singh passed away during the ambrosial moments of Amrit Vela around 4.30 am on Thursday.”