In a video from Puducherry, some government workers are seen throwing a body into a pit hurriedly and there are claims that the body was of a COVID-19 patient, which has created a furor among people.
In the video, four men are seen wearing PPEs and moving the lifeless body from an ambulance and literally dumping it into the grave. Less than a minute later, one of the four men is seen telling a Govt official that the body has been thrown and the official is seen showing a 'thumbs up' approving the act.
Some protocols have clearly not been followed by the men while disposing of the body of a COVID-19 patient. A specific bag is used in such a situation but in the video that bag is missing. The body was wrapped in a white cloth and while the men dispose of the body by throwing it in a pit, the cloth opens up in the video. It could be highly dangerous for the health workers handling the body.
Sources from a TV channel state that the body seen in the video belongs to a Chennai resident, who was visiting Puducherry.
'Callousness and harshness'
Such callousness and harshness shown in dealing with the body have led to huge outrage in the UT.
Dr S Anandkumar from India against Corruption reacting to the incident said that it is important to practice dignity while disposing of a dead body as it is a matter of right. "Such an insult to a dead person is an offence under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code. The health workers along with those supervisory staff are punishable with penalty for defamation of deceased person," he added.
Puducherry Collector Arun stated that a memo has been issued to the concerned department. It's very unfortunate and an inquiry is on.
According to Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi, the officials and workers involved in the incident have been issued show-cause notices.
In Chennai, a doctor had died of coronavirus and the body was refused burial. Healthcare workers who were taking the doctor's body were attacked by a mob. The doctor's friend was forced to drive the ambulance himself and bury the body. The incident led to Tamil Nadu Govt bringing an ordinance, which allowed jail term of up to three years for anyone blocking or attempting to block funerals of coronavirus victims.