Chandigarh, March 19: The sample of a 72-year-old man, who returned from Germany via Italy a fortnight ago and died at a hospital in Punjab's Nawanshahr district after severe chest pain, has tested positive for novel coronavirus, senior officials said on Thursday.

The septuagenarian, who had diabetes and hypertension, tested positive after he died at the Banga community health centre on Wednesday, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) Director Jagat Ram said. Follow: Coronavirus Outbreak Live Updates.

Health authorities did not confirm the exact cause of his death and there was no immediate confirmation from the Union Health Ministry either. When contacted, district civil surgeon Rajinder Prasad Bhatia said the man had arrived from Germany via Italy on March 7.

The resident of Banga came to the health centre with severe chest pain on Wednesday and immediately collapsed. He died later in the day, Bhatia said.

"The sample of a 72-year-old man from Nawanshahr has tested positive," PGIMER Director Ram Director Jagat Ram told PTI on Thursday, adding that the report came on Wednesday night. Mumbai AC Local Train Services on Western Railway to be Cancelled From Friday Till March 31 Amid COVID-19 Outbreak.

State Principal Secretary (Health) Anurag Aggarwal confirmed that the sample of the Banga resident had tested positive. The number novel coronavirus cases rose to 169 on Thursday after 18 fresh cases were reported from various parts of the country, according to the Union Health Ministry. Punjab had earlier reported a confirmed case of coronavirus.