Covid stigma: 11 days on, body lies unclaimed in Jalandhar Civil Hospital

Covid stigma: 11 days on, body  lies unclaimed in Jalandhar Civil Hospital

Another example of people distancing themselves from their Covid-positive family members amid the pandemic has come to the fore in the district where no one has come forward to claim the body of a Covid patient who died 11 days ago. Photo for representation only

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 16

Another example of people distancing themselves from their Covid-positive family members amid the pandemic has come to the fore in the district where no one has come forward to claim the body of a Covid patient who died 11 days ago.

As per information, the body of the patient admitted to the Civil Hospital, who died due to Covid, had been kept in the mortuary. The police had been informed about this by the health authorities. Information regarding this had also been released by the administration so that it could be circulated and the kin could be informed.

The deceased has been identified as Nirmal Singh (50) of Kapurthala Road, who was admitted to the Civil Hospital on June 4 and died the next day around 5.15 pm. Since then, nobody has turned up to claim the body and the officials said even the mobile numbers that were given while admitting the patient are also switched off. The authorities don’t have any other address or proof to search for the deceased’s kin.

Sub Divisional Magistrate-II Harpreet Singh Atwal said: “The body has been kept in the mortuary and the police have also been informed in this regard. The deceased’s kin can come to the Civil Hospital mortuary to claim the body.”

On being asked if such cases were prominent, the SDM said even when the relatives and family members are informed that they don’t have to worry about being infected they still are reluctant in receiving the body. “Though kin of the deceased are informed about the set protocols with which they can perform the last rites of the deceased, some of them are still apprehensive and shirk away from attending to the deceased,” he said.

Notably, such cases where kin disown the body of a Covid patient are on a rise. The health officials and those who are on frontline dealing closely with the Covid patients said they feel strange and sad when they see people still discriminating with their own kin even after one year of the pandemic and awareness drives.

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