Suspecting COVID, relatives shy away from performing last rites

Suspecting COVID, relatives shy away from performing last rites

April 25, 2021

RT-PCR report not given even after 5 days, allege villagers

Malavalli: In a tragic incident, the body of a woman,  suspected to have died of COVID-19 pandemic, was left unattended in the portico of the house by her relatives and villagers for many hours at M. Shettahalli in Malavalli taluk of Mandya district here yesterday. 

Last rites were performed after local Gram Panchayat member brought this to the notice of Taluk Administrative Officer (TAO).

About the incident:  A 55-year-old woman had returned from Bengaluru on Apr. 16 and she got herself vaccinated at a local hospital the next day. On Apr. 18, she developed mild fever for which she got treatment. She also got RT- PCR test done on Apr. 19 but the result was not available even after five days.  However, as she experienced shortness of breath yesterday, she was shifted to hospital in ambulance. But, unfortunately she died midway and the ambulance staff kept her body in front of the house and left.

As news spread, her relatives and villagers refused to go near the body suspecting her death due to COVID-19 and  the body was left unattended for hours at the portico. Manohar, a Gram Panchayat member, observed this and brought it to the notice of TAO.

On the receipt of information, Health Officer Dr. Shivaswamy arranged for her last rites as per protocol. He said the woman had returned from Bengaluru five days ago and was reportedly unwell. Even her RT-PCR test report hadn’t come without which it would be very difficult to say whether she died of Corona or other ailments. As a precautionary measure, the village has been sanitised. 

Meanwhile, the villagers have slammed Mandya District Administration for their negligence in not giving RT-PCR test results even after five days. Following this incident, the villagers hoped that such incidents do not recur.


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