Tamil Nadu

Residents of village in Villupuram district refuse to allow burial of COVID-19 victim

Health workers in PPE suits arranging for the burial of a 52-year-old man who died of COVID-19 at Periya Kayntha Kulam village near Gingee in Villupuram district

Health workers in PPE suits arranging for the burial of a 52-year-old man who died of COVID-19 at Periya Kayntha Kulam village near Gingee in Villupuram district   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

An ambulance carrying the body of a 52-year-old man who tested positive for COVID-19 was denied entry into Meledayalam village near Gingee on Tuesday at midnight, for over eight hours, after a protest by local residents amid fear of the spread of the infection.

Revenue officials were in a fix as the locals dug out pits and parked a tractor on the approach road leading to the village forcing them to bury the body at Periyakayntha Kulam village.

According to sources, the victim hailing from N.R. Pettai in Meledayalam had tested positive for COVID-19 a few days back and was referred from the Tiruvannamalai Government Hospital to a private hospital in Vellore. He died on Tuesday evening and his body was brought in an ambulance to Meledayalam the same day.

However, when the ambulance reached the entry point of the village around midnight, local residents refused to allow it to enter the village. Despite persuasion by Revenue officials, the local residents reduced to budge. The residents contended that the victim owned houses in Vellore and Gingee but chose to perform the last rites at Meledayalam since it was their ancestral village. With the local residents refusing to budge, the family waited for over seven hours with the ambulance in Gingee. The body was later taken to a graveyard in Periyakayntha Kulam village.

A Revenue official said that the body was buried at Periyakayntha Kulam village following pleas by the local residents.

“The family also owned a house in Gingee and they accepted their request. The body was buried following all safety protocols”, he said.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 9:52:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/residents-of-village-in-villupuram-district-refuse-to-allow-burial-of-covid-19-victim/article32274632.ece

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