Family hides deceased’s Covid result, conducts funeral at home; 18 attendees quarantinedUpdated: May 21, 2020 22:34 IST
The death of an 82-year-old Covid positive patient at a slum in Vartak Nagar area of Thane has led to a panic among residents, as the family carried out the funeral at his home, which in is violation of safety norms. The family allegedly did not inform the relatives about the deceased testing positive for Covid-19. However, some Covid warriors in the area came to know about the test and informed the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC). The civic body has quarantined 18 persons after the incident.
The deceased was suffering from fever for the last few days and was taking medicines at home. He got tested on May 18 and his test reports were awaited.
Sachin Kharkar, 37, a local Covid warrior, said, “The person died at 8.30am on Wednesday morning. When we came to know about it, we contacted the family who claimed the reports were negative. They received the report, stating that the man tested positive, at 1.45pm but they did not inform anyone and carried out the funeral around 3.30pm. Around 18 people had attended the funeral.”
Ravi Naik, 38, another local Covid warrior, said, “We knew the person had undergone a test and insisted on seeing the report. The family members, however, called us in the evening after the funeral and admitted that the report was positive. They also said they would quarantine themselves if necessary. However, we informed the civic body immediately as there were a few neighbours who attended the funeral as well.”
The corporation has traced 17 people who were among the high- and low-risk contacts of the patient.
Varsha Sasane, medical officer of Vartak Nagar, said, “In case of a death in hospital, we are immediately informed even if it is a suspected case and we ensure that the family follows necessary safety protocol. This was a death at home, and the family did not inform us about the Covid test. They also hid the report from their relatives and neighbours, and violated safety protocol for the funeral. Few Covid warriors in the area, who knew that he had taken the test, demanded that the family send them the report.”
Sasane said that of the 17 people, eight were high-risk contact. “We have, at present, home-quarantined all of them as we do not have space in quarantine centres. However, we have asked our superior to at least provide space for the eight high-risk contacts in quarantine facilities.”
This is not the first time that a funeral was carried out without following any safety protocol. Earlier in two such cases, around 70 to 80 persons had attended funerals of two persons who died in the slum areas of Wagale and Lokmanya Nagar area.