Four days after the death of a 60-year-old man, the Ratlam Police have booked 28 persons for burying him by hiding information about his infection.
The man was admitted to MY Hospital, Indore, after he showed symptoms of infection. The man belonged to Ratlam but had been living in Indore for the last two years.
The hospital authorities sent his samples for testing, but before the result came in, the man passed away. The body was handed over to family members, who took him to Ratlam and buried him in the presence of lot of people even though prohibitory orders were in force.
On Wednesday, the Ratlam district authorities learnt that the man had tested positive. The police said the family members lied at the toll booth and got the body to Ratlam from Indore.
The police identified 28 members, including close relatives, who attended the burial and registered a case under IPC sections 188, 269, 270,271, 34, 291 and 47 for endangering lives of others, and also under the Disaster Management Act.
While the 28 have been isolated, the authorities have traced many others who were in contact with them and initiated the process to isolate and quarantine them.
The police said they will also punish people who had knowledge about the infection and death, a reference to one or two local journalists who allegedly helped the family members misguide authorities.
The Ratlam district authorities also blamed the M Y Hospital, Indore, for not keeping them in the loop about the death of a suspect and the test report that came later. The Ratlam police learnt about the test report from social media.
As COVID-19 toll rises, Madhya Pradesh invokes ESMA
As the death toll from the novel coronavirus continued to rise, the Madhya Pradesh government on Wednesday invoked the Madhya Pradesh Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1979, with immediate effect.
The state government declared health, ambulances, sale and transport of medicines and medical equipment, water and electricity, food and drinking water and security among 10 services as essential. Employees of these sectors can be punished for refusing to work.
The emergency provision was invoked on the day the toll reached 25 and the number of positive cases went past 350.
The Congress slammed the BJP government for invoking the emergency provision, arguing that it was condemnable to doubt the spirit of doctors, nurses, health workers and other employees who were working day and night.
“The decision is beyond comprehension when all government doctors, medical staff and officials were doing their duty honestly,” said former CM Kamal Nath. Calling it dictatorship against officials and employees, former Higher Education Minister Jeetu Patwari demanded that the order invoking the emergency provision be revoked.
Informing that 14 districts have been affected so far, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered that borders of Bhopal, Indore and Ujjain districts be totally sealed, and affected localities in remaining districts be sealed to prevent the disease from spreading.
Appealing people to wear masks and not hide the disease, the CM said FIR will be registered against those who hide the infection. They will be penalised after treatment, he said.
Officials told him at a meeting on Wednesday that the death rate from coronavirus in MP is between 7 and 7.30 per cent. The state has ordered 50,000 rapid testing kits.
Meanwhile, three persons who attacked a police constable in Chandannagar locality of Indore on Tuesday have been booked under NSA. Three others were arrested under IPC provisions. The Indore administration had invoked NSA against four persons involved in the attack on health workers last week. In Bhopal, one person was detained under NSA for attacking two policemen who were asking people to be at home.