The family of a 71-year-old patient who died of COVID-19 here on Monday had to preserve the body in a freezer for almost 48 hours.
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The patient died hours after his samples were taken on Monday. A relative said the doctor did not issue a death certificate and asked the family to wait for the test report. “Doctor said he possibly died of cardiac arrest but since his COVID-19 test report was pending, he would not issue a death certificate. He asked us to preserve the body until the report came in,” the relative said.
The family, which resides in an apartment on Amherst Street in north Kolkata, said it approached the police and civic officials, but none helped. Hence it bought a freezer to preserve the body. The test report came late on Tuesday. Only on Wednesday afternoon, two days after the death and 40 hours after the body was put in the freezer, did civic workers come to take the body away for cremation.
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Atin Ghosh, a member of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s Board of Administrators, said the KMC intervened when the matter was brought to its notice.
As on July 1, the number of cases in West Bengal rose to19,170. With 15 more deaths in the past 24 hours, the toll shot to 683. On Thursday, an Army officer, who was undergoing treatment at Command Hospital in Kolkata, died of the disease.