06/15/2020, 17.03
INDIA
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COVID-19 patients treated worse than animals with bodies thrown away as trash

by Biju Veticad

The Supreme Court of India speaks out about the situation, slamming government officials for the way they are handling the pandemic. For the Court, the situation in the capital is "horrific" with some bodies thrown in the trash. For Indian priest, the authorities are unable to manage the crisis. Church organisations and NGOS are playing a crucial role.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – Delhi, India’s political capital, and Mumbai, the country’s economic and financial capital, are now also the centres of the country's COVID-19 emergency.

At the worst possible moment after the lockdown to counter the pandemic was partially lifted, the Supreme Court of India last Friday came down harsh on the central government for its handling of the bodies of patients who died of the novel coronavirus.

In a statement, India’s highest court said that the situation in Delhi was "horrific,” noting that in at least one case, the body of a man was found in the trash.

He was identified as Mohammed Anwar from Sahzora, a village in the precinct of the Sadullah Nagar Police Station, near Balrampur (Uttar Pradesh).

The deceased had gone to a local government office where he lost consciousness and died a short time later near a door.

Fearing that he might have died from COVID-19, the police and local municipal employees initially refused to touch the body. In the end, the agents threw him in a rubbish lorry.

The story found wide echo in public opinion, sparking harsh criticism across the country for the lack of respect for COVID-19 victims.

Asked by AsiaNews, Fr Jose Vallikatt MST, a missionary in northern India, said government authorities are unable to cope with the problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic and religious organisations and NGOs are filling in the gap, working with public agencies.

For the clergyman, the Church’s true mission is to meet the needs that are increasingly evident at such a time of difficulty.

Right after the Supreme Court spoke out, a series of meetings took place between high-level officials, including Union Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah, Union Health Minister Harshad Vardha and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The first steps under study include a review of the COVID patient intervention protocol and ways to increase testing.

India is the fourth country in the world in terms of cases with more than 330,000 with 9,500 deaths.

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