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Karnataka: Covid scare keeps people away, body taken for burial on bicycle

The incident occurred in Karnataka’s Belagavi district on Sunday. The man’s son and nephew took the body from Gandhinagar area of Kittur to a graveyard near Mugut Khan Hubballi village, about two kilometres away.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru | Updated: August 20, 2020 9:27:59 am
The man’s son has alleged that local authorities did not respond to their requests for assistance. A video of him and the man’s nephew taking the body to the graveyard on a cycle has gone viral. (Source: Video grab/YouTube)

The body of a 71-year old, who is suspected to have died due to Covid-19, had to be taken to the graveyard on a bicycle.

The incident occurred in Karnataka’s Belagavi district on Sunday. The man’s son and nephew took the body from Gandhinagar area of Kittur to a graveyard near Mugut Khan Hubballi village, about two kilometres away.

The man’s son has alleged that local authorities did not respond to their requests for assistance. A video of him and the man’s nephew taking the body to the graveyard on a cycle has gone viral.

The 71-year-old, who worked as a labourer, was down with a fever for more than three days and doctors at a private clinic that he was taken to had advised the family to seek admission to a designated government Covid-19 hospital in the district. But before he could be taken to a Covid-19 hospital, he died at his home in Gandhinagar on Saturday night.

On Sunday, relatives of the man did not turn up to help the family after word spread that he may have died due to a Covid-19 infection, a local official said. The family tried to contact officials of the gram panchayat and the health department for assistance in transporting the body, but his son alleged that they got no response.

His son and nephew then decided to take the body on a bicycle to the graveyard outside the Mugut Khan Hubballi village. “Everybody thought the death was due to coronavirus and no one from our family or friends came to help,” the man’s son told reporters Sunday.

Ramesh Jarkiholi, minister in charge of Belagavi district, expressed regret over the incident on Monday.

“Any person who dies of Covid or any other reason deserves a dignified burial. Officials will be instructed to ensure that such incidents do not occur again in the district,” Jarkiholi said.

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