Kolkata: Family forced to preserve 71-year-old Covid-19 victim’s corpse in freezer
Afamily in Kolkata was forced to preserve the corpse of a deceased 71-year-old man in a freezer after his demise at home. The man tested Covid-19 positive hours after his death.
The elderly man died on Monday, hours after undertaking a Covid-19 test, as suggested by his doctor. His family’s worst fears came true when the report indicated that he was infected by the deadly virus.
The elderly man lived with his family at an apartment in central Kolkata’s Amherst Street. On Monday, after taking the test, he fell severely unwell and passed away in the afternoon.
The family doctor refused to sign a death certificate citing Covid-19 protocols and suggested that the body be preserved until the Covid-19 report arrives.
“Doctor said my uncle possibly died of cardiac arrest but since his Covid-19 test report is pending, he will not be able to issue a death certificate. Till such time, he asked us to preserve the body,” the deceased man’s nephew said.
Till late on Monday night, the family carried the body in a hearse to multiple mortuaries in the city, but all of them refused fearing contamination.
Calls were made to the local police, state health department and civic bodies, but there was no response. Fearing that the body may decompose, the family bought a freezer in a desperate bid to preserve the body.
After a harrowing 48 hours, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) personnel finally arrived at the apartment on Wednesday afternoon and took the body away at around 3 pm. The building was later sanitised.