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None of us could see his face for last time: Daughter of COVID-19 victim


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Seventeen-year-old Rita expected her father to be back soon from Safdarjung hospital where he was admitted on April 16 for high sugar levels and fever, but destiny had other plans as he passed away the next day and it was later found that he was coronavirus positive.
Rita (name changed), her mother and her two siblings have been tested for COVID-19 and the results are still awaited.
On April 19, the hospital informed the family that he was COVID-19 positive and it would take care of his cremation. The contagion, if precautions are not taken, can spread.
None of us could see his face for the last time, said Rita, the eldest of her siblings one five years old and the other 13 years old. Oblivious to the situation the five-year-old has been told his father is away for work.
The victim's swab samples were taken for COVID-19 testing between 11 am and 12 pm on April 17. In about 12 hours, his conditioned deteriorated and he died, family members said.
His condition worsened the very next day after being admitted to the hospital, said the victim's brother-in-law.
The patient's body was kept at the hospital till April 19 when his reports arrived. He had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The hospital told us that they would take care of the cremation and we would not be allowed anywhere near the body. His body was wrapped in plastic sheets (protection used to contain the infection), the brother-in-law said.
The victim's wife was with him during the two days of his hospitalisation, he said.
After the reports came on April 19, family members, including the patient's brother-in-law, were tested the next day for the infection. The results came negative.
The body was taken to the Nigambodh Ghat and cremated. The ghat has an electric crematorium, and last rites of COVID-19 victims are being performed there.
Only my wife's brother was allowed for the cremation, and that too from a distance, fearing the spread of infection, the brother-in-law of the victim said.
Delhi so far has recorded 3,439 coronavirus cases and 56 have died due to COVID-19, while 1,092 have recovered, as per Union health ministry data.
Since the body was wrapped in protective sheets, it was never opened. We still have not got his ashes, the victim's brother-in-law said.

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First Published: Apr 30 2020 | 5:36 PM IST

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