Three weeks after her husband died of COVID-19 at Hyderabad's Gandhi Hospital and was cremated by the municipal authorities, a woman claimed he is missing and insisted that the authorities show proof of his death and funeral.
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Not convinced by the statement of the government-run hospital that her husband died on May 1, a day after his admission to the hospital, the woman and her two daughters believe that he is missing from the hospital. The issue came to light after, a resident of Vanasthalipuram area in Hyderabad, tweeted to the Telangana's cabinet minister late May 20 that her husband who was undergoing treatment for COVID-19 went missing from Gandhi Hospital.
The Gandhi Hospital Superintendent issued a statement on May 21 that the patient was admitted to the hospital on April 30 with positive diagnosis of COVID, his condition was serious due to bilateral pneumonia with ARDS, and he expired on May 1. The hospital superintendent said as per the procedure, the body was handed over to police and since nobody from the family came forward to receive the body, the police handed over the same to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) for cremation. The enquiry revealed that the GHMC performed the cremation. "All due procedures were followed. We sympathise with the family, but it is wrong to defame the hospital and doctors and other staff who are treating hundreds of corona cases risking their lives," he said.
The woman, an employee in a rice mill, took ill on April 27 and was admitted to King Koti Government Hospital for screening. Since he tested positive, he was shifted to Gandhi Hospital, the designated facility for treating COVID-19 patients. After his death, his family members were also quarantined and since they too tested positive, they were admitted to Gandhi hospital.
The woman and her two daughters were discharged on May 16 after they recovered from COVID-19. "I enquired about my husband and they said he expired on May 1 and was cremated. I insisted on proof in the form of photographs or videos, but they had nothing," said the woman. She disputed the claim by hospital authorities that the family was informed about his death. "Let them show the evidence to whom they had informed and from whom they had obtained consent for performing the last rites", she said. She is not ready to believe that her husband died. "My daughters too believe that their father is alive. We will believe he is no more only if the hospital shows us some evidence," said the woman.