Woman who ‘died of Covid’ returns home to family two weeks after her cremation

The bereaved family of an Indian woman who had been declared dead after contracting Covid-19 were stunned when she arrived home two weeks after her funeral.

Muktyala Girijamma’s family were told on May 15 that she had died of coronavirus, but strict social distancing procedures meant that they could only view the body from a distance and it remained tightly wrapped in plastic right up until the point of cremation.

The 60-year-old's nephew Nagu told reporters that when they tried to visit her at Vijayawada Government General Hospital they were told that the 60-year-old had died.

He said: "The duty doctor on that day failed to inform my uncle that she was shifted to another ward and told him that she succumbed to Covid.

"Believing it, we went to the mortuary to find her body where we were given the body of another woman. Since we could not verify the body before taking it as it was packed, we took the body home and performed the last rites."

The grieving family were given the body for cremation. But now, says Nagu, "we do not know whom we have cremated".

Muktyala returned to the village of Christianpet in Jaggaiahpet Mandal of Krishna district on Wednesday, June 2, just before the family members were to perform the Shraddha ceremony – a final send-off for a departed relative.

While the hospital had offered her 3,000 Rupees (about £29) for transport home she had chosen to walk most of the way – and her first words to stunned relatives were a complaint that no one had come to collect her.

Sadly, Muktyala’s miracle return is bittersweet – her 36-year-old son Ramesh, who had been admitted to hospital suffering from Covid on the same day as her died of the infection on May 23.

India is deep in the grip of a severe coronavirus outbreak, and the country’s Supreme Court has sharply criticised the government for making it mandatory to register on an app for getting a jab – a move the judges say will slow the vaccination program in rural areas.

Over 220 million doses of the vaccine have been administered since India’s vaccination rollout began in mid-January, but so far only 3% of the population has been fully vaccinated.

According to the latest government figures, there have been 28,441,986 coronavirus cases conformed in India, and some 337,989 have lost their lives as a result.

To make matters worse, in a report on May 25, more than 11,700 people in India are suffering from the deadly 'Black Fungus' complication of mucormycosis.

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