Man’s family face crisis after Odisha govt says he died due to Covid-19, but then denies it
The flip-flop over the man’s death, however, triggered a major crisis for his family after villagers refused to allow the body to enter the village for cremation over fears that he succumbed to the virus.Updated: May 19, 2020 06:53 IST
The faux pas of Odisha government in first declaring Covid-19 as the cause of death of a Surat-returned youth and then subsequent denial few hours later has led to social ostracism of the family of the deceased.
Purna Chandra Gouda of Haripur village in Jagannathprasad block of Ganjam district had returned home from Surat on March 11 when his son was born. Though he had come from Surat much before the lockdown was announced, he had to spend 14 days in home quarantine and did not develop any symptoms of Covid-19.
On May 11, Gouda suddenly developed breathing problems following which his family admitted him to Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati medical college and hospital in Berhampur town of Ganjam. On May 12, he was shifted to the Covid-19 hospital at Shitalapalli area of town following recommendation of the doctors.
He died on May 16 at the Covid-19 hospital, the cause of death is not yet known. On May 17, the state government declared him to have died of Covid-19. However, a couple of hours after his death, the state government backtracked saying his test reports have come negative for the virus. The same day another youth in Ganjam district, who had returned from Surat, succumbed to the virus.
The flip-flop over Gouda’s death, however, triggered a major crisis for his family after villagers refused to allow the body to enter the village for cremation over fears that he succumbed to the virus. With people of Haripur village not agreeing to allow Gouda’s body enter the village, his wife has been visiting the mortuary for last 2 days.
“The villagers think my husband died of coronavirus which is not true. Why should I suffer for mistakes of the government,” asked Gouda’s wife Rosy.
Ganjam district collector Vijay Amrita Kulange said the Surat returnee was shifted to Covid hospital as per the standard operating procedure for anyone having respiratory troubles. “As he was Surat returnee, it was done. He was later tested negative for the virus,” he said.
So far 4 persons in Odisha have succumbed to Covid-19 while 896 have tested positive.