A 40-second video of government workers tossing the body of a man, who died due to coronavirus, hurriedly into a pit has caused massive outrage in Puducherry.
The incident has not just violated the COVID-19 protocols regarding funerals and disposal of bodies but also defied the right to a dignified burial.
A lifeless body of a COVID19 positive man being insensitively thrown into the grave in Puducherry. Dignity denied in death. Collector orders probe. Showcase notice issued. An official shows thumbs up as a worker tells him "body has been thrown". @ndtv pic.twitter.com/G2pzkNPwq2— J Sam Daniel Stalin (@jsamdaniel) June 6, 2020
The video shows four men wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) carrying the patient's body on a stretcher from an ambulance. They carry the body to the edge of the grave and tilt the stretcher, dumping him into the pit.
Later, one of the workers can also be heard informing a government official that they have "thrown the body" for which the official responds by showing thumbs up in approval.
According to reports, the local administration sprung into action and ordered a probe as soon as the video went viral.
It was shocking to find out that the frontline health workers blatantly flouted the COVID-19 protocols mandated while handling the body. The video shows that the patient was wrapped in white cloth and not in the bag to be used specifically for the purpose.
The wrapped cloth opened up as soon as the body was tossed, risking infection.
Reportedly, the body was of a person who resided in Chennai and had died due to the deadly virus.
"Dignified disposal of a dead body is a matter of right. Such an insult to a dead person is an offence under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code. The health workers along with those supervisory staff are punishable with a penalty for defamation of a deceased person," India Against Corruption said in a statement, reported NDTV
Dr S Anandkumar who is the president of the organisation condemned the act and called it " unprofessional disaster management in Puducherry."
While ordering a probe on the negligence, Puducherry Collector Arun said that he has issued a memo to the concerned department and was inquiring into the issue.
Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi said show cause notices are being served to the individuals involved.