Karnataka row over dumped bodies

Bengaluru

Outrage poured in on Tuesday over two videos, showing health workers, in PPE outfits, allegedly dumping bodies of Covid patients in large black bags into huge pits in Ballari — Health Minister B Sriramulu’s hometown.

The videos show 5 men wearing PPE gear dragging 4 body bags from a van and throwing them into 2 large pits. They are seen with a man in a mask standing by a black van. One man showed a thumbs up after dumping the body bags while another was seen walking away, presumably taking a video on his phone. In the second video from the same spot, 4 men can be seen running towards another pit. They again thr­ow the black body bags into the pit. In both videos, earthmover equipment is also se­en in the frame ready to cover the pits.

The district administration has initiated a probe to verify the authenticity of the vide­os. FPJ was not able to independently verify the authenticity that hit social media with a bang. Sources said people in the video were in a great hurry as the administration had earlier faced stiff resistance over from locals. Health Minister Sriramulu told the media, “By any cha­nce, if the burial has not happened according to the Centre’s rules, I will serve them a notice. I understand it has not happened that way. I will ensure it is examined and action is taken.”

A short while after Cong leader DK Shivakumar posted the video, allegedly showed officials ‘inhumanly’ dumping bodies, the administration said the entire field team has been disbanded and issued an unconditional apology to families of the dead and others hurt.

Meanwhile, Karnataka reported 947 new cases, taking the total in the state to 15,242. In another spike, Bengaluru reported 503 cases and 4 more deaths. Many patients had no known source of inf­e­c­tion either by travel history or contact, worry­ing the authorities as it’s indicative of community spread.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus recovery rate in the national capital reached 66.03% on June 29 as against the national rate of 58.67%, according to official figures. In June, Delhi added over 64,000 fresh cases to its tally, while 47,357 patients recovered, were discharged.

In another development, re­c­o­rding 4,000 cases 24 hours, Tamil Nadu has surpassed Delhi to regain the 2nd spot on the list of worst-hit states, while Karnataka recorded over 1,100 overtaking Haryana and Andhra.

"We plan to begin production at risk and are committed to bringing an affordable vaccine to the public on a not-for-profit basis for emergency pandemic use. We are expanding our global manufacturing capacity, including establishing new vaccine manufacturing capabilities," said Paul Stoffels, Johnson & Johnson chief scientific officer.

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