The picture shows the body placed horizontally at the bottom of autorickshaw’s rear seat, protruding from either side of the vehicle, as it was driven through the streets of the locality.(HT Photo)
The picture shows the body placed horizontally at the bottom of autorickshaw’s rear seat, protruding from either side of the vehicle, as it was driven through the streets of the locality.(HT Photo)

Covid-19 dead body carried to graveyard in auto rickshaw in Telangana

The picture shows the body placed horizontally at the bottom of autorickshaw’s rear seat, protruding from the either side of the vehicle. The incident occurred in Telangana’s Nizamabad.
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad | By Srinivasa Rao Apparasu | Edited by Arpan Rai
UPDATED ON JUL 11, 2020 11:07 PM IST

In yet another instance of negligence towards cremating the bodies of deadly coronavirus outbreak victims, a photograph of Covid-19 patient who succumbed to the infected being carried to the graveyard in autorickshaw in Telangana has surfaced.

The incident, reported to have occurred on Friday, came to light on Saturday when the photograph of the body being transported in autorickshaw was shared on the social media and was played up in the local television channels.

The picture shows the body placed horizontally at the bottom of autorickshaw’s rear seat, protruding from either side of the vehicle, as it was driven through the streets of the locality.

Neither the driver of the autorickshaw, in which the body was transported, nor the person sitting beside him in the front seat were sported wearing personal protection equipment (PPE), which is mandatory for the people disposing the bodies of Covid-19 patients.

According to the guidelines issued by the state government, two GHMC vehicles with supporting staff in full PPE gear are liable to accompany the transportation vehicle, with COVID safety material and power spraying cans. A COVID Liaison Officer (CLO) of the designated coronavirus hospital is delegated to interact with the family and make required provisions, the state guidelines read.

District collector C Narayana Reddy said he has ordered an inquiry into the incident and terminated the services of contract municipal employee, who took the body of Covid-19 victim to the graveyard in an autorickshaw.

“There are only two ambulances in the Nizambad hospital which are meant for disposing the dead bodies. On Friday, four people, including three Covid-19 patients, died. While two ambulances had already left with two bodies, the other two bodies completely packed were kept ready for disposal,” the collector said.

Reddy said the hospital had informed the relatives of the patient to wait for one hour for the ambulance arrive, but they preferred to carry the body in their own autorickshaw. “So, the hospital authorities arranged for contract municipal employee to accompany the body to the graveyard,” Reddy said.

Nizamabad hospital superintendent Dr Nageshwar Rao was not available for comment.

Terming the violations in the process of cremation as serious issue, director of medical issue Dr Ramesh Reddy ordered a detailed enquiry in the matter .

“The hospital superintendent has been instructed to file criminal cases against those employees who were involved in handing over the body. All the hospital superintendents are instructed to strictly follow the guidelines and such incidents should not be repeated in public interest,” Reddy said.

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