Puri: The social stigma of COVID-19 has left the body of a 25-year-old man unattended for 15 hours after death in Konark block of Puri district. As the villagers suspected him as a COVID-19 patient, no one bothered to come forward and take the body for cremation.
The deceased has been identified as Vichitra Rout, working as a tractor driver.
According to sources, Rout had been suffering from high fever and was diagnosed with typhoid. Meanwhile, the villagers were hostile towards Rout as they thought he had tested positive and started ostracising his family fearing the spread of the infection. People avoided his family and stopped talking to them as well.
After his death, his family was forced to arrange for PPE kits and other protective gears before the body could be taken to the cremation ground.
The body was wrapped in a plastic sheet and was taken to the cremation ground with the help of a cycle and later cremated after 15 hours.