04/22/2020, 13.04
INDIA
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Fear of virus sparks attack to prevent funeral

Police said people living near the cemetery feared that burying people who died from COVID-19 would spread the virus. Dr Simon Hercules was finally laid to rest by a friend the next day.

Chennai (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Fear of being infected with the coronavirus prompted some 20 people to attack relatives and friends of a well-known doctor during his funeral in Chennai, southern India, last Sunday.

Dr Simon Hercules (pictured), who died from COVID-19, was eventually laid to rest the next day at the Presbyterian cemetery in Riatsamthiah by one of his friends.

“He was not shown even basic humanity. Even his wife and son couldn't be there to say goodbye," Dr Pradeep told the News Minute website.

Dr Hercules continued to serve during the pandemic instead of staying home, and most likely was infected by one of his patients, Dr Pradeep explained.

Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar condemned the accident.

Police said people living near the cemetery feared that burying people who died from COVID-19 would spread the virus.

In Jhalupara and Nongpoh, several religious groups and communities had come forward offering to celebrate the last rites after residents refused to allow the burial.

At least 20 people have been arrested.

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