COVID-19 patient's body taken in auto-rickshaw to the burial ground in Telangana

Ever since the pandemic began in India, questions have been raised about the handling of COVID-19 patients' bodies upon their death. Despite the guidelines issued, there has been much flouting of rules.

In an incident in Nizamabad, Telangana,  the body of a COVID-19 patient was taken by a relative in an auto-rickshaw to the burial ground. The incident noticed by citizens was called out. The district collector has ordered a probe into the undignified handling of the body. Moreover, there was no ambulance or handler for the deceased.

COVID-19 patient's body handled disrespectfully in Telangana

There have been numerous cases around the country of the incorrect and disrespectful treatment of bodies of those who succumbed to COVID-19. As cases rise in the country, more such incidents seem to be reported. 

On Friday, the relative of a COVID-19 patient who passed away at the Nizamabad Government Hospital took the body from the hospital unsupervised in an undignified manner. The body was transported to the burial ground in an auto. The incident has sparked questions among the authorities as to how the body in the first place was allowed to be taken in such a manner.

Coronavirus patient in hospital
Medical workers wearing personal protective equipment take care of a patient suffering from the coronavirus at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi, India, May 28, 2020.Courtesy: REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

The 50-year-old patient succumbed to COVID-19 at the hospital due to comorbidity, it was reported. Speaking to ANI the hospital Superintendent at Nizamabad Government Hospital Dr Nageshwar Rao said, "His relative who works in our hospital had asked us to hand over the body to him and after his request, we handed him the body yesterday. He didn't wait for the ambulance and took the body in an auto with the help of a person who also works in our hospital's morgue." 

This incident has frowned upon Telangana. The district collector C Narayana Reddy told The News Minute, that two designated ambulances went with 2 bodies to a burial ground which created delay and they the family of the other patient wanted to cremate immediately ergo taking the body in their auto to the cremation ground 1 km away from the hospital.

An enquiry has been ordered into the matter. Despite standard protocol being ordered to be following in the handling of dead bodies of COVID-19 patients, such incidents seem to be occurring more commonly.