Ramanathapuram, Apr 9: A former State minister and 150 others were kept under home quarantine after they attended the funeral rituals of a 71-year-old man, without knowing that he died of a novel coronavirus at Keezhakarai in this district.
The septuagenarian, a resident of Keezhakarai had returned from Dubai on March 16 and stayed at Mannadi in Chennai. As he experienced breathing difficulty, he was admitted to Stanley Medical College on April 2, where he died within two hours without responding to the treatment.
His body was taken to his Keezhakkarai in an ambulance and buried on April 3 at Old Jumma Mosque as per religious customs.
Former Information Technology Minister and sitting Ramanathapuram MLA, Dr.M.Manikandan and his father visited the residence of the deceased man and paid their homage, as the test results were unavailable.
Meanwhile, a controversy erupted after the blood and swab test result of the deceased, returned positive for COVID-19 two days after his burial.
The family members of the deceased alleged that they were neither informed that he was a suspected COVID-19 patient nor that his samples were taken for testing. Hence, the burial rituals were performed as per their religious customs, they said.
However, health officials claimed that following necessary guidelines, the body was handed over to the family after packaging. The family members were told to follow the protocols during the funeral.
Official sources said on Thursday that they have identified 151 people, including the former Minister who attended the burial rituals of the COVID-19 victim and advised to stay under quarantine.
Of the 151 people, 11 were family members of the deceased and five had performed the rituals during the burial.
The Keezhakkarai police have registered a case against two sons of the deceased under Section 188, 269, 270 and 278 of the Indian Penal Code and also under Sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act, Disaster Management Act and Tamil Nadu Public Health Act for organising the funeral despite being aware that their father was admitted to the isolation ward. (UNI)