Outrage in India after COVID-19 victim’s body moved with excavator


Two local administration officials in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh were suspended on Saturday after images of an earth mover being used to transport the body of a COVID-19 patient to a crematorium sparked outrage across the country.

The body of the 70-year-old man, who died of COVID-19 in the town of Palasa in Andhra Pradesh, was seen on footage aired by local television channels being taken to the crematorium on an earth mover.

The body was wrapped in plastic and put in the excavator’s bucket. Officials clad in personal protective equipment accompanied the body.

The man had died at his home. When neighbours complained that the body posed a risk to others, his family members approached civic authorities, who took the step of using the earth mover, Srikakulam district collector J Nivas said.

Two local officials have been suspended for not following protocols for disposal of the body, Nivas added.

NDTV news channel quoted Andhra Pradesh chief minister Jagan Reddy’s office as saying the handling of the body was “inhuman.” (dpa/NAN)