BALLARI: A video clip showing mass burial of patients who died of COVID-19 in Ballari has surfaced inviting criticism from all quarters. The district which has so far reported 773 cases in the last three months has also witnessed a total of 23 deaths.
Among the deceased, 12 deaths were reported on Sunday and Monday posing a big challenge for the administration and the health department to take up the mass burial. In the video, the medical officers are seen dumping the body into a pit after which it is filled with mud using an earth mover.
The video which has been shot on Monday quickly made the rounds in the social media circles raising questions about the handling of the bodies. "Even dead have some respect and they deserved a decent burial," said a social activist from Ballari after the video went viral. Similar reactions echoed on social media and some also pointed out on how the family members who have to stay away from burials feel about it.
The health department officials pointed out that on Monday alone eight persons having COVID-19 died in the district and all the burials had to be done as quickly as possible. "Moreover there has been stiff opposition from different quarters over not allowing the burial of COVID-19 patients. Last week MLA G Somashekar Reddy too sat in protest asking not to bury a COVID patient's body in Ballari city. The administration and the DC himself had to come and convince the protesting MLA and his supporters," the official explained.
"The cremation has been done as per the government's instruction. The place of cremation had to be changed in the last minutes as there was protest from the locals. Hence it was done in a hurry. When the numbers of deaths are more, such things may have happened. More than respect, it is the procedures that needs to be followed during burial and we are doing it," the official said.