Horror Story: COVID Victims’ Bodies Discovered After 16 Months!
Bengaluru: There have been endless COVID-19 horror stories in our country during the deadly second wave of the pandemic earlier this year.
But here’s a heart-wrenching tale of utter apathy which will shake up your senses.
Two bodies of COVID-19 victims were found on Saturday in an old mortuary building in a government-run hospital in Bengaluru, more than a year and four months after their death.
Housekeeping staff came across the corpses when they went inside the abandoned mortuary at Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Model Hospital — which is under the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment — after complaints of a foul smell.
While 42-year-old Durga, a mother of two, was declared dead due to COVID on July 5 last year, 68-year-old Muniraju — a father of three girls – succumbed to the coronavirus on July 2, 2020.
Durga’s daughters, one 15 years old and the other 10, were so long of the opinion that their only surviving parent had been given a proper cremation after passing away at height of Bengaluru’s first COVID wave.
“Durga’s small daughters lost both their parents in a span of two years. Now after 500 days, police say her body had been abandoned at a hospital. What do I tell them?” said Durga’s sister Sujatha G B who looks after the orphaned girls.
According to a police officer, officials failed to check the freezer where the bodies were kept when ESIC Hospital’s old mortuary was pulled down and replaced by a new building, The Indian Express reported.
As per protocol at that time, bodies of COVID victims were not handed over to families by the government, with last rites being carried out by officials of the municipal body itself, or in the presence of family members.
Muniraju’s youngest daughter Rajeshwari could not believe what they were hearing when an official from Rajajinagar Police Station asked her to come and identify the body.
“Following our father’s death, we had not been able to perform the last rites, leaving it to the BBMP. We were told the body had been cremated. We performed the 11th-day rituals as well as observed the first death anniversary,” she said.