Devbrat Patnaik

Berhampur: Even as the epidemic is growing rapidly, the government trusted its citizens to behave responsibly, at least until a vaccine is developed or the coronavirus crisis sees a downward trend. While the message 'distance yourself from humans, not humanity' has been loud and clear, people's response to the pandemic, in fear of getting infected with the virus, might just look disastrous.

This time, a frontline corona warrior from Ganjam district in Odisha became a victim of such inhumanity.

As per reports, Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police Rabindranath Behera was suffering from cold and fever for the last few days. After his condition worsened on Friday, he was rushed to Kodala hospital in Ganjam district where he breathed his last.

The cop's body was reportedly left unattended outside the hospital for a day as locals and medical staff were not ready to touch the body fearing coronavirus infection. Even his family members refused to accept the body apprehending the same.

However, after the incident was highlighted, two journalists wearing PPE kits rescued the body for the conduct of his last rites.

While the incident has raised fingers on the COVID-19 management, Ganjam SP Brijesh Ray later issued a clarification stating that the sample collected from deceased ASI for COVID-19 testing has come out positive.

On reports of his body lying unattended outside hospital, the SP said, "It was because of some medical formalities were underway. He was our colleague and brother. He will be cremated with full state honours."

"Kodala IIC, SDPO Purusottampur, BDO Beguniapada, EO Kodala NAC, MO Kodala CHC were present at CHC Kodala. For the purpose of inquest, the dead body was kept on the pucca floor. We never compromise with the dignity of Covid warriors," said the district Collector.

For the past few years, Behera had been staying in Beguniapada area and was posted at the Bhanjanagar Court, sources said.

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