Hyderabad:  The  High Court on Thursday asked the Government of Telangana if Pavan (name changed) , a Covid-19 patient was alive or dead and if he was dead, why was there no official communication to his family members. The court had also directed the government to submit a detailed report in this regard by Friday, June 5.

The court was acting on a habeaus corpus petition moved by the deceased wife, Madhavi.  She informed the court that her husband was tested positive on April 30 and then shifted to Gandhi Hospital (Covid patient no. 1053) and that the hospital authorities have informed her that her husband was being treated in the ICU ward. Later, she, along with her two children, also tested positive.

She informed the court that she was in contact with husband on phone regularly till 12.05 pm on May 1, after which his phone was switched off and since then she has no knowledge of his whereabouts.

However, after she and her children recovered and were discharged on May 16, she called up the nodal officer of Gandhi Hospital to inquire about her husband and was told that he had not recovered yet. Further, he asked them to go home and said that her husband  would be discharged in 2-3 days, once he recovered. Even after that there was no response and worried over his condition, she called up the nodal officer again but every time she received a vague response. Then she approached the Vanasthalipuram police station but it had been of no use.

Later, she took up the issue with Minister K.T. Rama Rao through Twitter on May 20. As the tweet went viral, Telangana government declared that her husband had died on May 1 and that his body was also cremated by the GHMC staff. She also said that though there were some guidelines for cremation of a Covid-19 patient, the government did not follow the the rules and release any evidence and moreover, there is no official communication from them till date.

She told the court that her husband was still alive and that the nodal officer and police were illegally hiding him. She prayed the court to direct the government and other concerned officials to produce the man before the court and set him free.

Before the issue hogged the limelight, health minister Eatala Rajender and Gandhi hospital Superintendent Raja Rao clarified that COVID patient  had died on May 1 itself and that his wife was not informed about the death, as she was also undergoing treatment for Covid and that their relatives advised them against informing about the death to her and her children. Accordingly, as per the suggestion from relatives, the cremation was performed.

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