Shillong, Sep 16 : The family of Welldoneboy Marbaniang, a 15-year-old who purportedly died of Covid-19 last week, has questioned whether the teenager was truly positive for the virus.
Marbaniang died on September 10 at Dr H Gordon Roberts Hospital in Jaiaw. Today the Mawpat Rangbah Shnong, K
Ryntathiang, and family members of the deceased met with Health and Family Welfare Minister AL Hek and Director of Health Services Dr Aman War.
The delegation questioned why, if Marbaniang had Covid, was his body not treated with special protocols for burial of infected
persons as was seen earlier in the pandemic. Marbaniang was suffering from undifferentiated febrile illness with acute respiratory
distress syndrome and septic shock but his Covid test report only came back after he died.
According to the family, the hospital did not inform them of Marbaniang’s positive result when his body was released to the family. Shailin Marbañiang, an aunt of the deceased, said that only after the funeral on September 11 was the family informed by health workers that the deceased was tested positive for Covid-19, news that brought shock and confusion to the family members and residents of Mawpat.
If the boy really had coronavirus his body should have been buried deeper in the ground, with the grave excavated by an earthmover rather than by hand, she added.
Ryntathiang said that protocols regarding the burial of those who die of Covid-19 were strict early on but have become more flexible as the number of cases has increased.
Hek said that the government counted Marbaniang among the Covid cases based on the report by the hospital.
“We cannot tamper with the report given by the hospital,” Hek said while informing that he has instructed the department to seek a detailed report from Roberts Hospital.
The minister also informed that dead bodies in Covid cases are to be handed over to relatives by the hospital only after completing the procedures related to sanitization and body management.