Pokhara locals attack police post over decision to bury Covid-19 patient in their wardSecurity personnel fire eight warning shots to disperse the mob that attempted to prevent authorities from burying the body.
Agitated residents of a ward in Pokhara vandalised a police check post on Thursday demanding that authorities withdraw their decision to bury the body of a man infected with Covid-19 in their area.
The deceased, a 55-year-old man from Syangja, breathed his last at Pokhara-based Western Regional Hospital on Wednesday night. This is the second Covid-19 related death in the city.
“Security personnel deployed in the area were compelled to fire in air as the mob started pelting stones at the police post,” said Superintendent Jiban Shrestha. Eight people involved in the incident were detained, he added. Two policemen and some protesters sustained minor injuries.
Locals from Ward No.32, where the metropolitan city decided to bury the dead, attempted to obstruct the hearse from getting to Satpatre Ghat in Majhuwa by burning tyres on the road and attacked the police post on the border between Kaski and Tanahun districts. They said the body should not be buried in their area as it would increase the risk of transmission of the disease.
A Nepal Army team managed to take the body to the burial ground after the security personnel dispersed the demonstrators.
Two weeks ago, when officials tried to bury the body of the first person in the city to die from the disease, people’s representatives and the locals of Ward No. 11 and 20 had also tried to obstruct the burial since the community burial ground is used by the locals of both the wards.
According to local authorities, Pokhara Metropolitan City has been assigned to bury the bodies of people who die from Covid-19 as sending the deceased to their native district is barred due to the risk of transmission of coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Man Bahadur GC, mayor of Pokhara, said, “Satpatre Ghat, Ward No. 32 of the metropolis has been chosen to bury the dead as it is far from human settlement.”
Although there’s an electric crematorium in Shantighat on the banks of the Seti river, the crematorium is not in operation. “No one is available to cremate the body during this pandemic,” said GC. “That’s why we had no other option but to bury the dead. But, locals are obstructing the burials,” said GC.
Locals argue that coronavirus may spread if the dead are buried in their area. But Baburam Acharya, chief at Kaski Health Office, said that transmission from a dead body is rare, “Coronavirus can be transmitted from a living individual. It is very rare for viruses to get transmitted from a dead body.”