A 74-year-old man in Hyderabad was the first person in Telangana to die of coronavirus on Saturday. His samples, which were taken after his death three days ago, tested positive for the highly contagious virus that has infected over 1,000 people in the country and killed 29.
The elderly man was buried on Saturday with no family members and only in the presence of health workers. His bereaved family was confined to their homes.
In funerals, not more than 20 persons are allowed, according to the guidelines for the 21-day nationwide lockdown, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last Tuesday to fight the spread of coronavirus.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said that the man was known to be coronavirus-positive only after his death when he was brought to hospital. The man had other complications as well, he said.
Mr Rao, referred to as KCR, said that the number of coronavirus cases in the state touched 70 with three people testing positive for the infection on Sunday.
Mr Rao appealed to migrant workers not to leave Telangana during the lockdown and assured that the state government will provide each person with 12 kg rice of flour, Rs 500 cash assistance and shelter.
The Chief Minister’s appeal came on a day when tens of thousands of migrant workers hitting roads in a bid to return to their hometowns and villages were reported in different parts of the country including Delhi and Kerala.
Earlier this month, the last rites of a 68-year-old woman in Delhi, who died after being infected with coronavirus, were performed under supervision of medical authorities. Doctors and civic body workers oversaw the funeral after the crematorium staff reached out to the authorities seeking directives on ensuring that the infection didn’t spread from the body. The crematorium authorities had delayed the last rites by a few hours and approached municipal authorities to seek directives.