COVID-19: Family forced to keep man's body in ice-cream freezer for two days

Updated: Jul 03, 2020, 14:06 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Kolkata

The family had to keep the man's body at home as the doctor refused to issue the death certificate without his COVID-19 test results

This picture has been used for representational purposes
This picture has been used for representational purposes

The family of a 71-year-old man, who died at home hours after being tested for COVID-19, had to hire an ice-cream freezer to keep his body at home in Kolkata for two days after doctors refused to issue a death certificate without the test results.

After endless rounds of calls by the family seeking help from civic authority, police, and the local councillor, the man’s body was removed from the house on Wednesday, 48 hours after he died.

According to an NDTV report, the senior citizen was experiencing difficulty in breathing on Monday and visited a doctor, where he was asked to take the Coronavirus test. His health took a turn for the worst after he returned home and died around 3 pm.

A doctor then visited the man’s residence wearing a PPE suit but refused to issue the death certificate as the result for his coronavirus test were not released.

The doctor told the man’s family to contact the police or the health department, after which they made a series of calls to seek help. The police told the family to contact the local councilor who reportedly did not respond to their call.  They also called the health department but got no help from them either.

On Tuesday, the helpless and desperate family had to arrange for an ice-cream freezer to store the man’s body as it was rapidly decomposing due to the heat. That evening, they received the man’s report in which he tested positive for Coronavirus.

The man’s body was finally removed from the apartment at 3 pm on Wednesday, two days after his death, and his apartment was sanitised after 50 hours.

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