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Three government staff suspended for undignified burial of COVID-19 patient in Puducherry

In an audio clip sent to newsmen, the Chief Minister expressing regret over the incident said two staff from the local administration department and one from the health department have been suspended

Published: 08th June 2020 06:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th June 2020 06:16 PM   |  A+A-

Coronavirus burial

Image used for representation. (File photo| PTI)

By Express News Service

PUDUCHERRY: Three government employees have been suspended in connection with the undignified burial of a COVID-19 positive man from Chennai who died in Puducherry, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said here on Monday. The action came after a video showed the body being dumped into a pit by staff of the ambulance and Villianur Commune Panchayat in the presence of officials on Friday.

In an audio clip sent to newsmen, the Chief Minister expressing regret over the incident said two staff from the local administration department and one from the health department have been placed under suspension. An inquiry has been ordered by the District Collector in this regard and after getting the report further action will be taken against those responsible and no one will be spared.

Narayanasamy clarified that when the man tested positive for COVID-19 after his death, his relatives said they would not take his body and requested the government in writing to take care of his burial. Whatever may be the cause of death, the body has to be treated with dignity, said the Chief Minister. He said that discussions have been held with the minister for PWD and Local Administration A Namassivayam and officials to ensure that the guidelines for cremation and burial of COVID-19 deaths are followed.

Stating that COVID-19 is spreading in Puducherry, the Chief Minister said that though people are wearing masks, they are not maintaining social distancing properly. Some people from neighbouring states are entering Puducherry through short cuts and police have been directed to take steps to prevent it, he said, while calling on people to be more careful in their movements.

The Chief Minister said that he is getting complaints that traders in Grand Bazaar market and people coming to shops are not maintaining social distancing and said that this may lead to the spread of the virus in a similar way to the Koyambedu market in Chennai. He said the situation will be monitored for another two days and if it continues, the market will again be shifted to another place.

Private schools have been cautioned against collecting more than the fees notified by the government and if they do so, action will be taken by the school education department, he said. The Chief Minister said since Puducherry is following the Tamil Nadu board of education, it will have to abide by the direction given by the court with respect to the Class X examination. Since the examination could not be held now, he will write to the Prime Minister to allow schools to reopen with all precautionary measures as online coaching is not effective, particularly since the students do not have smartphones.

Referring to the circular of the Pondicherry University for holding college examinations in the month of July, the Chief Minister said that he had requested the Vice Chancellor (VC) of the University to reconsider his circular since the central government has not given any guidelines so far with regard to holding college examinations. He said the VC informed him that the university has only announced its schedule and any final decision would be taken only after release of the guidelines by the Centre.

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