9 of family test COVID-19 positive after death of infected kin

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Thane, May 15 (PTI) Nine members of a family tested COVID-19 positive in Ulhasnagar township in Thane district of Maharashtra on Friday, a week after one of their kin died and later found infected with coronavirus, an official said.

According to the official, after the victim's body was handed over to the family members, they had performed rituals on it after removing the plastic sheets wrapped around it, against the instructions of the medical authorities.

'A 50-year-old member of this family died on May 8. He tested positive for the infection a day later' spokesperson of Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) Yuvraj Badhane said.

'The victim's family members gave an undertaking to the hospital that they will strictly follow all the guidelines during the cremation. The body, which was wrapped in plastic sheets, was handed over to them. They were asked not to uncover it,' he said.

However, after they took the body home, the family members removed the plastic sheets and conducted death-related rituals on the body, including giving a bath, Badhane said.

'Later, around 70 people attended his funeral,' he said.

When the civic authorities came to know about it, they traced those who had attended the funeral.

'A test was conducted on all of them. Nine family members of the deceased tested COVID-19 positive on Friday.

They have been isolated and being treated,' the official said.

The civic officials said that the rest of the contacts have been quarantined.

'As the family members and others acted against the instructions and flouted the rules, the process to register a case against them is on,' a civic official said.

So far, 89 people, including 10 from this family, have tested COVID-19 positive in Ulhasnagar, where the death toll due to the infection till now is four, officials said. PTI COR NP NP