First COVID death outside hospital occurs in Vasco

Margao: Goa reported its first COVID-19 death outside the COVID hospital as a labourer from Kharewado who died at home on Friday. He was cremated at Margao crematorium on Saturday. The 75-year-old woman from Curtorim who died on Friday was also laid to rest under strict protocol at the St Alex Church cemetery in Curtorim.

The death of the labourer from Kharewado, Vasco throws up new questions on the transmission of the virus. The 45-year-old complained of chest pain and fever at home. According to sources, the labourer had fever for 10 days and was under self medication. His swab sample was collected on July 2 and he died the next day. Since the report of his test was awaited the death was initially registered as an unnatural death.

Dr Madhu Gawde, in charge of the mortuary at Hopsicio, conducted the medico legal formalities as per the protocols laid down by ICMR in lieu of a routine post-mortem examination.

The cremation was held at Margao and it was being managed by Mamlatdar Pratap Gaonkar. At least four relatives, including his son, were present and conducted the last rites.

The 75-year-old woman from Curtorim was buried at St Alex Church cemetery, Curtorim after she died of COVID-19 infection on Friday night. Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco was on his toes right from facilitating the acquisition of the body of the deceased to the burial. Lourenco said, “I have supervised the burial rites. To be double sure I have asked the team who came along to sanitise the body twice.”

The daughter and the neighbour of the deceased were present when the body was laid to rest.

As Goa records its 6th death of a COVID-19 patient, following protocols to avoid hindrances, problems and issues in the cremation/burial process are subsiding. Both funerals on Saturday were hassle-free and followed the strict protocols and guidelines. [H]