Several residents of Ambattur gathered near a crematorium on Monday, throwing caution to the winds, to stop the cremation of a doctor who had died of coronavirus. The 62-year-old doctor who belonged to Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, was being treated at Apollo hospital in Vanagaram and died on Monday morning.
According to police sources, his body was taken to a crematorium in Ambattur and hospital staff in protective gear warned residents to stay away while this was happening.
"But they immediately became suspicious because there are no positive cases in Ambattur. Residents began to gather and demanded that the body be taken back," says the police official.
Even the staff at the crematorium allegedly fled from the spot as they had no protective equipment to wear when cremating the body.
"It is a failure on the part of the corporation which did not coordinate the whole cremation properly. In their panic, people even forgot the need for social distancing and came together to protest the cremation," the policeman told TNM. "Moreover the crematorium was in a heavily populated residential area and it was natural people would object," he adds. The body was taken back to the hospital morgue.
The Chennai Corporation has however reportedly denied responsibility for the body and stated that Vanagaram hospital doesn't fall under its limits.
When asked about this, Health Secretary Beela Rajesh said, "There are proper guidelines and these are sensitive issues...his family has been quarantined. "
Moreover the doctor's death will not be recorded under Tamil Nadu, as he is a domicile of Andhra Pradesh.
Ninety eight new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Tamil Nadu on Monday. The total number of persons infected in the state now is 1173. Eight more persons have recovered in Tamil Nadu and the state currently has 58 COVID-19 recoveries so far. The number of deaths in the state stands at 11.
As far as Andhra Pradesh is concerned, the number of infected patients stands at 439 while 7 persons are dead and 12 have recovered from the virus.