The family members had to buy a freezer to keep the body inside it to prevent it from decomposing.
A resident of Raja Rammohan Roy Sarani in Central Kolkata, the deceased was suffering from fever and had symptoms of COVID-19. The family’s general physician asked him to get a COVID-19 test.
On Monday, the family took him to the private lab around 10:30am and got him tested. On his return, his situation deteriorated and around 2:30pm, he breathed his last.
Immediately, the family general physician was informed. The doctor arrived at their residence in a PPE but refused to issue a death certificate stating that his COVID-19 test report was awaited.
“The family general physician later advised them to contact the local police station – Amherst Street Police Station. The members reached the police station, however, they refused to help them remove the dead body. The officials shared a number of the state health department which remained unreachable and asked the family to contact the local councillor. The local councillor refused to help too,” said Raj Gupta, building committee member.
The family members of the deceased claimed that after the police, health department and local councillor refused help, they had to arrange a freezer to keep the dead body inside it to prevent it from decomposing.
The dead body remained at home on Monday and Tuesday and on Tuesday night, the health department informed the family member of the deceased that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
The news of the deceased testing positive sent shock waves across the building residence as the family members were moving in and out of the building seeking help and reaching out to agencies to remove the dead body from their home even after two days.
“We are shocked at the negligence of the authorities. The entire building is contaminated. There are children, elderly residing in this building. Who will take responsibility if anything happens to us? The family has been harassed in the last two days trying to remove the dead body. We received no help and the family was forced to stay for more than two days with the dead body inside the house,” added Gupta.
As soon as the news of the family forced to stay with the dead body surfaced in news channels, Kolkata Municipal Corporation rushed a hearse and officials to the residence of the deceased.
The dead body was only removed around 3:30pm on Wednesday (July 1).