CHENNAI: In a shocking incident, insensitive health care workers in Puducherry have thrown the dead body of a COVID-19 patient into a pit. The way the dead body was handled by the team of government workers was found to be extremely objectionable by people. A video is going viral on social media showing four health care workers in PPEs throwing the dead body of a COVID-19 patient from an ambulance into a pit.
The undignified handling of the dead body has triggered a massive outrage in Puducherry as 0the family members of the coronavirus victim are unable to perform the final rites of the dead COVID-19 patient.
The health care workers didn't follow any rules while handling the body. The dead person was merely wrapped in a white cloth instead of using a bag as per standard procedure. It is not clear yet if the body was duly embalmed or not. The front line workers were just seen wearing PPE suits but there were no hoods and goggles. A probe was ordered into the incident.
According to reports, a 44-year-old man from Chennai went to Puducherry to meet his wife who is with her parents. The man on reaching the in-law's place fell unconscious. He was immediately rushed to the Puducherry government hospital but was declared dead on arrival. His body was sent for a post-mortem examination and blood samples were sent for testing. As it turned out, the dead man's sample tested positive for COVID-19. His body was immediately sent to the graveyard for burial.
Dr Mohan Kumar, Puducherry Health Director expressed regret over the incident and said, "The people who took the body for a burial were doing it for the first time and they were a bit scared about the disease. While taking the body, they were carrying it as if they did not have proper balance. There was no proper foothold and it was not properly done. We have warned them that this should not happen again and we have informed the district authority and hospital authority to ensure that this does not recur and that the handling of dead bodies should be done in a respectable manner. Excuses like 'the foothold was not proper' will not be accepted in the future."
India Against Corruption said in a statement that, "Dignified disposal of the dead body is a matter of right. Such an insult to a dead person is an offence under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code. The health workers along with those supervisory staff are punishable with a penalty for defamation of a deceased person."