Sumanti Sen is an English Literature graduate who believes "there's just one kind of folks. Folks.".
A Kolkata family had to hire an ice-cream freezer to keep the body of a man, 71, who died at home on Monday, June 30, hours after being tested for COVID-19. Civic authorities removed the body 48 hours later.
The family's helplessness began when doctors refused to issue a death certificate without the results of the coronavirus test. Consequently, mortuaries refused to accept the body without a death certificate.
No calls to the health department, civic authorities, the police and politicians fetched any help.
The next morning, the family had no option but to hire an ice-cream freezer to preserve the rapidly decomposing body. The same evening, the test results came and the deceased was found to have been coronavirus-positive.
Civic authorities removed the body as many as 48 hours after the man died, and the building where he lived was sanitised 50 hours after his death.
After the death, a doctor visited the family wearing a PPE suit and refused to issue a death certificate. He asked the family to contact the local police since it was a case of coronavirus.
The police directed the family to the local councillor, who allegedly did not respond.
"We even made several calls to the helpline given to us by a person when we called up the health department but nobody responded," a family member told PTI.
Various calls to the mortuaries were in vain as they refused to accept the body under the given circumstances.
"Calls were not answered. That's why we decided to keep his body at home inside a freezer," the family member said.
"In fact even after getting the test reports we kept on calling the state health department but there was no response. On Wednesday morning, we got calls from the health department and told them everything," he said.
Kolkata Municipal Corporation employees finally went to the apartment 48 hours later, and removed the body.
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