All of them attended the meeting and now sitting finger crossed as they are yet to be tested for the virus, sources said.
When asked health officials said they had tested 30 participants whose results came out negative. But officials refused to buy the health department version.
When asked, if collector A Shanmuga Sundaram, who chaired the meeting, was tested, health officials said “he tested negative a week ago in the Vellore medical college hospital. As he did not move close with other officials at the jamabandhi there was no need to test him.”
Meanwhile a 65-year-old Gudiyattam resident, who got himself tested at the Vellore GH on Friday last, was told by the hospital on July 4 that he was negative. But the patient succumbed on Monday morning near Visharam while proceeding to Chennai.
But confusion began after this. The funeral rites of the sexagenarian was slated for 3 pm on Tuesday in Gudiyattam. However, around noon, health officials said reached the spot and told the mourners that they want to take away the body as the victim had tested COVID positive. “Meanwhile more than 100 persons who paid their last respects are now in panic,” a local resident said.
What made the relatives furious was the packing of the body. Instead of a special team from the hospital, 2 workers of Gudiyattam GH mortuary came and packed the body. And, there was no sign of private ambulance, which was supposed to ferry the body, for a long time. So they were forced place the body again in the freezer. Finally members of a social service organization took the body and buried it at the Chunnambupet burial ground, sources revealed.