Police in each district have been asked to file a report to their respective SPs on this issue. As Vellore SP L Selvakumar is down with the infection, the report is to be given to Ranipet district SP Dr Sivakumar who holds additional charge of Vellore district now.
While police sources in Vellore district maintained there were no unclaimed bodies in the Vellore Government Medical College Hospital (VGMCH), sources in the hospital said otherwise. A source speaking on condition of anonymity said, “the VGMCH mortuary has facilities to store up to 50 bodies, but it is at present full as unclaimed bodies occupy space preventing COVID death bodies from being stored there.”
Though the medical college was not functioning at present, unclaimed bodies which were disease free would be stored after being embalmed for use by Anatomy students during dissection. “Usually only the bodies of mendicants and destitute would be unclaimed and these would be handed over to the medical college” an official said.
At present, the relatives were not coming forward to claim the bodies of even those dying due to other diseases due to fear of coronavirus, said a source and added, “So unclaimed bodies had to be cleared by police before they can be disposed of.”
In private institutions like the CMC Hospital, “COVID bodies have to be mandatorily cleared by Vellore Corporation’s sanitary inspector (SI) before they are taken for burial,” a hospital official said.
“The SI comes at a particular time which is when we also ask relatives of the deceased to be present for a final look before the bodies are taken away for burial,” the official added.