The body of a 71-year-old man, who had tested positive for Covid-19 after his death on Monday, was kept at home for nearly 48 hours as family members ran from pillar to post seeking help from government agencies and police for its disposal. Following the delay in cremation, the family even had to rent a freezer to preserve the body.
The deceased, a resident of Kolkata, died with Covid-19 symptoms at his home around 3 pm on Monday. To get a death certificate, the family members contacted a local doctor who suggested a Covid test. The family then contacted the local police station, Health Department and Kolkata Municipal Corporation for cremation of the body as per Covid protocol.
However, the family alleged that it had received no help from any government agency.
The deceased’s nephew said, “We contacted the local police station, and we were told to contact the Health Department. We called on the helpline number of the Health Department, but got no response. We also tried to keep the body in mortuaries, but were not allowed as uncle was a suspected Covid patient.”
On Tuesday morning, the family members contacted the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, which too asked them to contact the Health Department. “We visited the Health Department office where we were asked to get a Covid test report, without which the cremation could not be done,” said the nephew.
The family then managed to get a test conducted, and the deceased tested positive.
“Meanwhile, we had arranged a freezer to prevent the body from decomposing. Today, in the morning, we submitted the Covid report to KMC, following which civic body workers finally took away the body in the afternoon for cremation,” the nephew said.
“Even our neighbours were worried because of the disease,” said the son of the deceased.
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