A family in West Bengal's Purba Medinipur district was compelled to bury a 70-year-old man, who succumbed to COVID-19, outside their residence on July 23 after waiting for 12 long hours for authorities to come and take his body.
Sanatan Pradhan, who lived in a village at Kolaghat, about 80 km from Kolkata, was extremely sick last week. He was taken to a hospital for a coronavirus test the next day after which he returned home.
On Thursday, the family was informed that Pradhan was coronavirus positive and an ambulance would be sent to take him away to the hospital.
Just after the family was informed about his health, Pradhan's condition worsened and by the time the health department ambulance arrived, he was already dead.
The ambulance then refused to carry the body and said that the police would have to take care of it.
The family waited for several hours. Some officials came but only to throw two Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits into the compound of the house and inform them that Pradhan's sons should perform the last rites.
The family then decided to cremate him at the village burning ghat. However, they were stopped by locals who said COVID-19 victims should be cremated away from crowded areas.
Pradhan's two sons then wore PPEs, dug a grave in the compound of their house and buried their father. In the morning, locals protested against this too claiming that the compound was very close to a village road used by everyone.
In another major medical negligence and lapse, no health official have come to test Pradhan's family for the coronavirus since Thursday.