Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Berhampur: Body of a woman was left unattended for around 14 hours in Golapada village of Bhanjanagar block in Ganjam district in fear of Covid19 contamination.

As per reports, the woman died on Saturday at her residence. Though the reason of death is yet to be ascertained, her last rites were not initiated as villagers left her mortal remains unattended for hours fearing Coronavirus as the reason behind her death.

After much hue and cry, the villagers informed about the matter to the local administration. However, arrangements for the funeral pyre of the deceased got delayed.

"Body of the deceased lied for around 12-14 hours in the village. The Sarpanch even didn't bother to respond on the incident and lastly, after we pressurized him, he informed the administration. Police reached the spot late at night after we pleaded before the BDO over the phone to help us complete her funeral," informed a villager.

Sources said, the deceased woman's father is currently under treatment at a COVID care center. Earlier, her elder sister and mother had also tested COVID positive and had returned home after recovering from the disease.

It may be noted that this is not an isolated incident of discrimination and stigma over Covid19 in Odisha. A few days ago, a man succumbed to the inhumane and hostile feelings of people in Sri Ram Nagar area of Berhampur. The man allegedly squirmed in pain for around 20 hours and finally died as no one came forward for rescue fearing Coronavirus infection.

A few weeks ago, reports of migrant returnees subjected to discrimination over carrying the viral disease also sent shockwaves in the State.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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