Family waits for a week to perform last rites of son

Authorities suspected he had COVID-19 and awaited report

May 18, 2020 10:36 pm | Updated 10:36 pm IST - Tumakuru

A mother had to wait for a week after the death of her son to perform his last rites, allegedly due to a delay in getting his laboratory test report for COVID-19. He finally tested negative and was laid to rest on Monday.

Manjunath was a construction worker and resident of Heggare in Tumakuru. He complained of breathlessness and cough when he was admitted to Sri Siddhartha Medical College and Hospital on May 11. He did not respond to treatment and died the next day.

The authorities concerned suspected that he had COVID-19 and sent the body to the designated hospital in Tumakuru for test. His samples were collected and the body was kept in the mortuary. Though the samples were sent on May 12, the test report came only on May 18.

Malligemma, mother of Manjunath, was inconsolable as she could not perform the last rites of her son. Manjunath’s brother, Ranganath.H.R. told The Hindu: “I could not see my mother crying and starving as we were not given the body to perform his last rites. It was a very painful period.”

District Health Officer M.B. Nagendrappa said: “The deceased tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday and the body was immediately handed over to the family.” He said that there was some confusion in getting the report due to changes in the report portal. “When we tried to get the report, we used to get a message saying ‘report awaited’. On Monday, district surgeon T. Veerabhadraiah and I contacted the National Institute of Virology in Bengaluru and got the report. The testing laboratory in Tumakuru will be functional in a week and will be helpful to conduct COVID-19 tests,” he said.

Manjunath’s body was finally handed over to his family on Monday and he was buried in their native village Goolaharive.

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