PONDA: In these testing times availing a hearse can be difficult and this proved to be the case of grief-stricken Mardol family members, who on Monday were allegedly denied a hearse by the Ponda Sub-District Hospital, to transport to the crematorium the body of their dear one, who succumbed to the dreaded COVID-19.
Addressing media persons on Monday, the relatives and neighbours of COVID victim from Mardol accused the Ponda Sub District Hospital of denying a hearse to transport the body from the hospital to the crematorium.
Efforts to contact Medical Superintendent, Dr Vikas Kuvelkar for his comments on this issue proved futile as he was not available.
Narrating the ordeal, the relatives alleged that the family was made to run from pillar to post to get a hearse for transporting the body of their relative to the Mardol crematorium, who succumbed to COVID-19 at the Ponda Sub District Hospital.
Irked over the incident, Mardol locals said, “When the family is going through a tough time of losing their dear one, the members are subjected to further torture in searching a hearse.”
Sameer Naik said, “A Mardol local died on Sunday at the Ponda Sub District Hospital and after receiving information about his death, the family and relatives went to hospital and completed all formalities to take possession of the body. However, the relatives were told by Ponda Sub District Hospital staff that they have no hearse or staff to transport the body to the Mardol crematorium. The staff said the only thing they can do is wrap the body in a PPE kit.”
Naik said, “Later the Mardol locals contacted Ponda Municipality requesting for a hearse. However, the PMC staff declined their request saying there is no approval for transporting COVID-19 body in a PMC hearse.”
He said, “The relatives later approached a person providing ambulance service and here too they were denied. Finally, the relatives contacted a panch at Mardol, who was moved by their plight and agreed to provide his vehicle as temporary hearse to transport the body from the hospital to the Mardol crematorium. Later the final rites were performed at the crematorium.”
Sameer said, “Through our contacts, we managed to get a hearse but what about the common man? How will they arrange this facility in case of the death of their relative due to COVID-19? VIP patients get special treatment in government hospitals.”
He urged the four MLAs of the taluka namely Ravi Naik, Subhash Shirodkar, Sudin Dhavalikar and Govind Gaude to look into matter and find a solution as deaths due to COVID are increasing and to ensure that no one faces such an ordeal.