Doctors said the patient was brought in a critical condition to the hospital as a general patient, after he was facing respiratory problems. He tested Covid positive when he was screened and then he was being shifted to the ICU. MMCH additional superintendent, Dr Anupal Sarma, informed TOI that the patient died when the process of patient registration was on.
“The attendants were engaged in a spat with the medical staff. Our health staff did everything possible on their part to admit the patient in the ICU urgently. But the attendants vented their anger on us after he died during the process. They took away the body forcefully in an autorickshaw,” said Sarma.
He added that the treatment was about to start when the death occurred. An eyewitness said security officials remained mute spectators, fearing virus spread from the body of the deceased. The MMCH authority called up the Panbazar police station and Kamrup (Metropolitan) district administration to inform them about the incident.
Sources in the hospital said the patient was a resident of Chenikuthi area here. As the disposal protocol of a Covid positive body was violated, the police and the administration launched a search for the body. “An investigation is on to track the body. But since it has not been found yet, we fear that the body may have been taken outside the city,” Kamrup (Metropolitan) additional DC, Chinmoy Nath, told TOI later in the evening. The biggest concern is the spread of the virus from the body and those who came in contact may become carriers of the virus, he said.
As per the cremation protocol for Covid patients, the hospital concerned informs the district administration about the death, following which the body is taken to a designated cremation ground with full precaution. There have been reports of shortages of vans for carrying bodies in cities with a higher number of deaths, but no such crisis has been noticed in Assam. The percentage of death due to Covid-19 is as low as 0.50% in the state.
Sources in the health department said that at present, Covid bodies are being shifted out of city hospitals for cremation within two to three hours of the administration being informed. The cremation of the Covid bodies is being done in the presence of one or two family members.