Locals Oppose Last Rites Of Meghalayas First COVID-19 Casualty

Image Credits: Patrika (Representational)

Locals Oppose Last Rites Of Meghalaya's First COVID-19 Casualty

The locals stated that the workers at the crematorium were not skilled and they lacked any safety gear to prevent the virus from spreading to people in the locality.

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Locals in Meghalaya have opposed the last rites of a 69-year-old doctor who died of coronavirus at Shillong's Bethany Hospital on the morning of Wednesday, April 15. He was the owner of the hospital and had tested positive for the virus on Monday.

In the afternoon, the State government had started the formalities to cremate the body according to the guidelines of the Centre and the World Health Organisation(WHO). However, the local people refused the cremation, stating that the workers at the crematorium were not skilled and they lacked any safety gear to prevent the virus from spreading to people in the locality.

"We are trying to negotiate and find a way out," M.W. Nongbri, Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills was quoted by The Hindu.

Furthermore, the local traditional tribal body at Nongpoh also refused the burial of the doctor's mortal remains at his farmhouse in Nongpoh in Ri Bhoi district. Chief Minister Conrad Sangma is trying to resolve the crisis.

The doctor was the first COVID-19 patient reported in the state. His six family members have also tested positive. With no travel history, the doctor is suspected to have contracted the disease from a silent carrier. In an effort to identify the infected person, the state government has started a massive search and announced a two-day curfew in the capital.

Bethany Hospital and its adjoining areas have been sanitised, the CM said. Over 2,000 people, who were in contact with the doctor, have also been identified.

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