Buried, unwept unhonoured
Tamil Nadu

Buried, unwept unhonoured

S.Murari

A 42-year-old man who was working in Chennai took a cab to reach his home of Villaiyunur in Puducherry last Friday to spend a weekend with his wife and children following easing of lockdown.But fate willed it otherwise. He was abandoned by his family after he reported positive for Covid and died in Indira Gandhi Government hospital.

He was buried like an orphan, the Indian Express has reported.The body was handed over to panchayat officials after the family stayed away from the funeral.Worse was to follow.As the virus would be alive for several hours even after the death of the patient, a deep grave was dug.At the burial ground,there was no facility to inter the body.A video showed conservancy workers carrying the body in a stretcher and tilting it into the grave and covering it with mud.Worse, the grave diggers and other workers who handled the body had were not wearing the hood of the PPE gear or goggles.

Those who took the body out of the ambulance and carried it in a stretcher had face masks , but they were dangling around their necks.The paper has said Director of Health and Family Welfare S Mohan Kumar expressed regret over the incident.Explaining why the body was tossed into the grave, he said:" This the first burial in this ground. The pit was deep and lots of muds around it and so it was difficult to stand there. We will handle bodies with more dignity in future"

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