He had been self quarantined since the ‘janata curfew’; the maid was asked to stop working. the gates of the house sealed and opened only for essential shopping.
Yet, senior resident of Luz Church Road, Raghupathy who walked every day till the lockdown and was well and in his 70s, developed a cough, was diagnosed as virus positive, moved to a hospital and passed away some 24 hours later.
We spoke to Raghupathy’s son, K S R Anirdudha to understand the sequence of events that follow a person who is taken to a private hospital and passes away – as was this case.
The local sanitary inspector of Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) gets to know of the ‘positive case’ once the results are out. He makes a visit. His counterpart in the hospital zone gets alerted when the patient is wheeled in.
That GCC staff keeps a tab via updates from this hospital, in this case a private hospital in Vanagaram.
The family of the patient has no access to the person once admission is done, fees paid. Doctors update them on the condition.
When the patient passes away ( in this case, of Raghupathy), the family is informed and the local GCC staff and local police are alerted. The body is worked on as per pandemic operating procedures and sent to the hospital mortuary. Papers are processed.
Anirudha says the GCC offers one or two options for cremation. The Vanagaram crematorium was on offer but dropped when the GCC staff said there seems to be some tension in the area on the increasing number of corona dead being cremated here. “Misconceptions of pollution still exist.”
So they chose the Besant Nagar crematorium. All procedures are handled by the GCC, again following strict regulations. Only two members of the family are allowed to take a look at the dead person’s face before the body is wheeled into a mortuary van.
The crematorium, van and body is sanitised again at the crematorium; the family of two/three must stay afar.
Cremation is simple. Sanitisation takes place again.
In this case, the GCC staff advised the family not to ask for the ashes. Anirudha says he did not want to debate this and left.