Dubai: A 28-year-old Indian engineer in Dubai, who supported his pregnant wife to file a petition in the Supreme Court of India for early repatriation from the UAE during the COVID-19 lockdown, has died in his sleep, a month after he sent her home from here, according to a media report on Monday.

Nithin Chandran, who is from Kerala, was under treatment for high blood pressure and a heart condition and is suspected to have died of a heart attack while asleep, his friends told Gulf News.

Chandran and his 27-year-old wife Athira Geetha Sreedharan, who is also a Keralite, were in news after pregnant Sreedharan filed a petition in the Supreme Court of India seeking help to return home for her delivery due in the first week of July, amidst the international travel lockdown imposed by India over the coronavirus pandemic.

Chandran had stayed back in Dubai after sending his wife home on the first day of repatriation from Dubai on May 7 under the Vande Bharat Mission.

"We got to know about this from one of his friends, Praveen, who had moved in to Nithin's apartment just a couple of days as he was alone after Athira went home," said Bibin Jacob, a friend of the deceased.

Though the case she filed had no desired impact, Sreedharan, an electronics and communication engineer with an IT equipment company, had managed to get a ticket on the first repatriation flight from Dubai to Kozhikode after the Consul General of India in Dubai Vipul gave high priority to her as she would not have been able to travel later due to the advanced stage of pregnancy, the report said.

"I am shocked to hear about the demise of Nithin whose wife is pregnant and was among the first one to be repatriated on Vande Bharat Mission," Vipul was quoted as saying by the Dubai-based newspaper.

"Nithin worked a lot for the community, especially arranging blood donation camps and volunteering during COVID situation. I give my sincere condolences to the family and hope that they are able to withstand this big and untimely loss," the official said.

The couple had been active in social service as members of the Blood Donors Kerala-UAE chapter and the youth wing of expat organisation Incas.

"His work had been hectic these days. He even discussed with me about resigning and going back home. But whenever he managed to get some time, he came for food kit distribution. He was one of our main coordinators for blood donation here," said Jacob.

Another friend said Chandran had been a pillar of a volunteering group called Emergency Team International in Kerala and continued to support its mobile blood donation drive during the pandemic.

"He had arranged some people to donate blood in his homwtown even today. He had helped save many lives in Kerala and here. It is very tragic that he died without getting help," the report said.

The body was shifted to Rashid Hospital from his apartment in International City for collecting the sample for COVID-19 test before shifting to the police mortuary, it said.

The coronavirus has infected over 70,00,000 people and killed more than 4,00,000 across the world. The US is the worst affected country with over 1.9 million cases and more than 1,10,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

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Raipur: The Chhattisgarh government on Tuesday decided to procure cow dung at Rs 2 per kilogram from cattle rearers as part of its 'Gaudhan Nyay Yojana' which will be launched on July 20, coinciding with local Hareli festival, an official said.

The decision was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel here on Tuesday, a government spokesperson said.

The scheme is meant for large scale production of vermicompost in gauthans (dedicated land in villages where cattle are housed) set up under the ambitious 'Narva, Garua, Ghurua aur Bari' scheme of the state government, he said.

"Earlier, a cabinet sub-committee had recommended buying cow dung at Rs 1.50 per kg but the cabinet has fixed the procurement rate at Rs 2 per kg, including transport cost," he said.

The state government has sanctioned construction of nearly 5300 gauthans so far, out of which 2,408 in rural areas and 377 in urban areas have been set up, he said.

In these gauthans, cow and buffalo dung will be procured from cattle owners through gauthan committees and will be utilized for making vermicompost and other products, he added.

The scheme will be launched on Hareli festival, which is celebrated to mark the start of agricultural activities.

The cabinet also approved selling of vermicompost produced under the scheme through cooperative societies to farmers at the rate of Rs 8 per kg, he said.

The cabinet also approved a plan to distribute 5 kg rice per person each month from July to November on ration cards (except for APL category) issued under the Chhattisgarh Food Security Act, in the same way as it is being provided on ration cards under National Food Security Act, he said.

"Likewise, one kg of a gram will be given per month during the same period to ration card holders (except for APL category)under Chhattisgarh Food Security Act," he said.

Besides, the cabinet approved to merge the remaining batch of teachers working under panchayat and urban body departments, who have completed a service period of two years or more, with the school education department from November 1.

The move will benefit 16,278 teachers, he added.

The cabinet also decided to constitute the Indravati Basin Development Authority for development of Indravati river valley in south Chhattisgarh, he said.

The decision to discontinue the Chhattisgarh State Law Commission was also taken in the meeting, he said.