Bengaluru: 7-Year-Old's Final Rites on Hold as Family Forced to Wait for COVID-19 Test Result

A government order issued by the state government says dead bodies must be tested for the coronavirus infection before an autopsy is performed.

New Delhi: Owing to a government order that says a COVID-19 test must be conducted before an autopsy, the final rites of a seven-year-old boy from Bengaluru, who died four days ago after falling from the second floor of his house in Hebbal, have been kept on hold.

On July 2 at around 6:45 pm, Abrar Ahmed slipped from the railing of a staircase while he was playing and fell. His father Aslam Pasha, who works as a painter, rushed him to Nimhans, Dr BR Ambedkar Medical College and Hospital and Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, but all of them refused to admit him, citing the lack of beds.

At 11 pm, Pasha finally managed to get his son admitted in a private hospital in Vijayanagar. However, he died on Sunday.

Following his death, the police told the family that a COVID-19 test is mandatory before the post-mortem can be conducted.

“Hebbal police visited the hospital and said a postmortem is a must, but a COVID-19 test needs to be conducted before that,” Mohammed Sardar, Abrar’s uncle, told the Times of India.

A swab sample was collected, following which the family wanted to shift Abrar’s body to a government medical college but couldn’t do so as the latter does not have freezers. The police got the body shifted to a private firm that has freezers.

While the government order states that bodies would be handed over to the family after they are swabbed, Pasha has been kept waiting for the test result.

Having already paid the private hospital Rs 90,000 in fees with great difficulty, Pasha said he is being Rs 4,000 per day for the freezer. “I’ve had no work for the past three months and our family is going through hard times,” Pasha told TOI. “Neighbours lent me some money and I paid the hospital bill with that. I haven’t slept a wink since I lost my son. I don’t know whom to approach or what to do.”