The second wave of India’s COVID-19 pandemic has brought forth some shocking visuals of death, desperation, and helplessness from across the country. Images of bodies waiting in queue on the roadside to be cremated, extremely sick individuals lying on the road outside hospitals, and mass funerals have been circulating on social media for weeks.
Now comes the picture of a dead woman being carried on a bike in Andhra Pradesh’s Srikakulam, sandwiched between her son and son-in-law, because ambulances allegedly refused to carry her body.
The incident took place in Srikakulam’s Palasa. The woman, a member of the Chenchu tribe, had shown Covid symptoms and was brought to the Neelamani hospital in the mandal headquarters.
She was referred to Sri Krishna Diagnostics for a CT scan. The patient, however, died waiting for the scan report. Her family’s ordeal continued as no ambulance or other vehicle was vehicle was allegedly willing to transport the body for fear of infection.
Her son and son-in-law then biked it for 20 kilometres.
Srikakulam Superintendent of Police, Amit Barhdar, however, said the family had failed to call 108, the public ambulance service number.
“Andhra Pradesh has a dedicated service for Covid patients (but they don’t carry bodies). Some private auto may have refused to take the dead body…the family, in anxiety, must have then carried it on the bike,” Mr Barhdar said.
Unfortunately, though, even the policeman who stopped and questioned the son and son-in-law on their way with body did not help by summoning a vehicle.