The patient, Ramesh had succumbed to COVID-19 on Friday but the family hasn’t been handed over the body yet.

COVID-19 deathImage for representation- File photo/PTI
news Coronavirus Saturday, June 13, 2020 - 19:15

It’s been a harrowing few days for the family of Ramesh, a 46-year-old man from Hyderabad, who succumbed to COVID-19. Their grief has been compounded by the fact that Ramesh’s body is yet to be handed over to them, over a day after his demise. The lack of coordination between the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), police and the hospital authorities has ensured that Ramesh’s family undergoes further stress.

Ramesh, a resident of Moosapet, was admitted to the Chest Hospital in Hyderabad on Monday earlier this week after he complained of respiratory problems. Four days after being treated, Ramesh succumbed to COVID-19 on Friday at around 11.30am. However, instead of handing over the body to the family, they were forced to contact multiple agencies. “We are in great distress,” said an irate Srikanth, a relative of Ramesh.

“Besides the pain of the death, now we have to handle this as well,” he said. Srikanth stated that they were waiting at the hospital till 11 pm on Friday for the body to be handed over. “We were made to call police, the GHMC authorities and the Superintendent but nothing worked,” Srikanth said.

“We wanted to shift him to a private hospital on Friday, but we were made to wait for several hours, saying that the Superintendent hasn’t come to approve the shifting", Srikanth said. Ramesh, however, died before his family could move him.

Lamenting about the protocols for handing over the body, Srikanth said, “There’s no one who approached us to inform that the body would be handed over. When we called the hospital authorities they said that the local police had to take over the body. When we spoke to the police, they said that they didn’t receive any information about the death from the hospital. We were forced to call many people. Is this how they treat us?” Srikanth expressed his anguish.

Speaking to TNM, Chest Hospital Superintendent, Dr Mahaboob Khan said that the mess was due to the laxity of the GHMC authorities. “This is inhumane. The family has been made to wait to collect the body for two days now. The GHMC is not responding properly. I have hundreds of cases but I am forced to personally intervene. I also called the Health Minister’s PA to put pressure on the GHMC authorities,” he said. 


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