‘Not safe to re-bury body’: Chennai Corp denies request by wife of Dr Simon

The Corporation cited public health experts as saying that a reburial of a person who died of COVID-19 would not be safe.
‘Not safe to re-bury body’: Chennai Corp denies request by wife of Dr Simon
‘Not safe to re-bury body’: Chennai Corp denies request by wife of Dr Simon
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The Chennai Corporation has denied the request of Anandhi Simon, the wife of Dr Simon Hercules, to re-bury the doctor’s body at the Kilpauk cemetery. The Managing Director of New Hope Hospital died in the city on April 19 following his battle with COVID-19. Though they wanted to bury hin at at Kilpauk Christian cemetery, an angry crowd had already gathered there. He was denied dignity in death when a violent mob attacked family, friends and health officials at the Corporation cemetery in Velangadu. After the attack, his colleague returned with police protection post midnight and dug a grave for the neurosurgeon. 

In a video message on Wednesday, Anandhi Simon made a tearful request to Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami to fulfill her husband’s last wish and bury him at the cemetery in Kilpauk. 

“My husband was buried in a sealed coffin. If it is taken and buried at the cemetery in Kilpauk, no disease will spread to the people. I humbly ask the Chief Minister. I am widowed with two children,” she had said in the emotional video.

When the doctor’s body was taken to the cemetery, the Chennai Corporation said that over 400 people came together to object to the burial of a person who had died of COVID-19 in their neighbourhood, fearing infection spread. The city police later arrested 22 people on charges of attempt to murder and booked 69 others.

In a press release on Saturday, the Chennai Corporation noted the request made by the deceased doctor’s wife on April 22. 

“A report was sought on this request from a committee comprising public health experts. According to the report, it is not safe to re-bury the body of a person who has died of coronavirus and has been buried according to the safety protocol. Thus, it is informed that it is not possible to accept the request of Anandhi Simon,” said a statement from the Chennai Corporation.


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