As many as 18 relatives of an Ulhasnagar woman who died of the coronavirus this week tested positive on Friday after they violated guidelines by opening her body bag.
This, barely three weeks after a case was registered against relatives of another coronavirus victim for violating cremation guidelines. They, too, opened the body bag. Twenty family members and funeral attendees tested positive.
In the more recent case, a 40-year-old woman who died on May 25 had been showing symptoms of Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. The hospital conducted a test.
Her mortal remains were wrapped in a body bag and handed to her relatives; they were asked not to open it and take it directly for cremation.
But they took the bag to a monastery, opened it and touched the body while performing rituals before the funeral.
Almost a hundred people were at the funeral, sources say.
Municipal authorities in Ulhasnagar found out. When test results showed that the victim had been carrying the virus, as many as 50 relatives were quarantined, out of whom 18 tested positive on Friday.
The authorities are now trying to track down the others who were at the funeral.
“We are going file a police case against the relatives who, despite being told about the guidelines, violated them on purpose and put so many others at risk,” a senior Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation official said.
“Despite repeated requests, they have done this, and now so many others have tested positive to Covid-19,” the official said.
On Friday, 32 new coronavirus cases brought Ulhasnagar’s total to 305.