Third COVID-19 death in GB Nagar, wife asks officials to perform the last ritesUpdated: May 12, 2020 23:50 IST
Stigma attached with the contagious coronavirus disease Covid-19 kept one family away from claiming a man who died of it in Guatam Budh Nagar on Tuesday. This forced his wife to ask the authorities to perform the last rites and cremate him in their absence.
The 60-year-old man, a resident of Noida’s sector 19, was admitted to Sharda Hospital on May 8, the same day the district suffered its first two deaths due to the virus. At around 9.50pm on Monday he suffered a cardiac arrest brought about by severe respiratory syndrome. Officials are still trying to trace the source of the infection.
The man’s 59-year-old wife had also tested positive the same day as him, both having shown symptoms of the viral disease, and was admitted to the same isolation ward. Their daughter was in Gujarat at the time and could not attend to her parents due to the lockdown.
While the previous two bodies were accepted by families, the case was different with this one.
Officials said they spoke with a few relatives of the man living nearby and offered to give them passes to perform the last rites. Eventually, the wife made her request to the district magistrate: “Please perform last rites of my husband as I am myself admitted for Covid-19”
“There was nobody to claim the body after which we along with the health officials performed his last rites. People are scared to come forward to claim body of Covid-19 patient. We showed the whole last rites of the man to his wife and daughter on a video call,” said Dr Ajit Kumar, joint registrar and media spokesperson, Sharda University, Greater Noida.
District magistrate Suhas LY, along with authorities of the Sharda Hospital and health officials, performed the last rites of the man at the electronic crematorium in sector 94.
Last week, the district had made public the protocols that were to be followed while disposing of bodies of those who tested positive for the coronavirus. This included covering the body with a bag and absolutely no physical contact with relatives. They were, however, allowed to perform the last rites and even glimpse the face, provided all social distancing norms were accepted. These are as per protocols devised by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the nodal agency in India for the disease.
“It is sad that people aren’t coming forward to claim the bodies of Covid-19 patients in many parts of the country. There shouldn’t be any stigma as proper protocol of sanitising the body and body bag is done before handing over the body to the relatives. Important family members should come forward to claim bodies. It is ensured that there is no chance of others getting the infection while claiming the body and performing the last rites,” said Dr Sunil Dohre, additional chief medical officer, GB Nagar.
The 59-year-old woman, meanwhile, was shifted to another isolation ward as she had suffered a loss that would need special care. Her vitals were normal, doctors said.
A 62-year-old man from sector 66 died on May 8 in Gautam Budh Nagar. He was under institutional quarantine at the Galgotias hostel which has been running as a government quarantine centre. The person was declared brought dead at the GIMS. A 60-year-old man from Sector 22 in Noida had also died after he developed pneumonia at GIMS during the early hours of the same day.
The district suffered three deaths in total, while the cases rose to 230 with six fresh cases on Tuesday.