Indian Covid victim, 76, wakes up on her funeral bier moments before she is due to be cremated because family thought she was dead
- Shakuntala Gaikwad tested positive for Covid last week and taken to hospital
- She was turned away as wards were full and she fell unconscious on way home
- Her family believed she was dead and prepared funeral bier, when she woke up
An elderly woman in India narrowly avoided being burned alive after her family mistakenly thought she was dead and prepared her for cremation.
The woman, identified as Shakuntala Gaikwad, tested positive for Covid last week.
Yahoo reported her family took her to Silver Jubilee Hospital in Baramati but as the wards were full they were turned away.
As they waited for an ambulance she became unconscious and the family mistakenly thought she had died and so prepared her for cremation.
The family of Shakuntala Gaikwad (pictured) believed she had died and were preparing for her cremation when she woke up
Relatives performing the last rites for a Covid-19 victim in India amid its current disaster
But moments before it was lit, Shakuntala woke up on her own funeral bier in a panic and started crying.
Local police confirmed the story.
She was later transported back to hospital to be cared for.
Last year India’s Health Ministry released guidelines for the cremation of people who have died of Covid, with special measures ordered to avoid any potential reinfection.
Indian government reassures citizens 5G does not cause Covid
The Indian government has been forced to reassure its citizens that 5G has not caused the second wave of coronavirus following a spate of conspiracy theories circulating on social media.
Officials pointed out that there are no 5G networks in India as the country only approved 5G trials last week and they won’t start for months.
The government described the conspiracy theories as ‘baseless and false’ and urged the public not to be ‘misguided’ by the rumours.
India’s Department of Telecommunication said in a statement: ‘Several misleading messages are being circulated on various social media platforms claiming that the second wave of coronavirus has been caused by the testing of the 5G mobile towers.
‘These messages are false and absolutely not correct… the general public is hereby informed that there is no link between 5G technology and the spread of Covid-19 and they are urged not to be misguided by the false information and rumours spread in this matter.’
A prominent message circulating on social media states that the radiation from cell phone towers ‘mixes with the air and makes it poisonous and that’s why people are facing difficulty in breathing and are dying’, reports Coda Story.
It comes as earlier today an Indian MP caused outrage after she claimed that she is protected from coronavirus because she drinks cow urine every day.
Pragya Thakur, a controversial MP from Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), also claimed that the urine can cure lung infections caused by the virus.
Her bizarre comments come just days after Indian doctors urged people not to cover themselves in cow dung and urine as a treatment for Covid, saying it risks spreading the disease faster.
She made the claims at a party gathering on Monday at a time when India is grappling with a second wave and a daily death toll of about 4,000.
MP Thakur sparked outrage over her comments, with political figures arguing that her ‘unscientific’ claims will ‘ultimately discourage people from vaccination and invite more devastation’.
MeanwhileHindus in western Gujarat state have been visiting cow shelters once a week to douse themselves in excrement, which is then washed off with milk.
They believe faeces from a cow – a holy animal to Hindus – will boost their immune systems, helping to both prevent and cure Covid.
But Dr JA Jayalal, president of the Indian Medical Association, warned the ‘cure’ doesn’t work and may actually help to spread the virus as often sick people gather in groups to undergo the treatment.
Some Indians have turned to unproven ‘cures’ for Covid as the virus runs rampant in the country and proven treatments – such as oxygen and vaccines – run in desperately short supply.
Earlier today it was reported the number of Covid-19 cases in India has dropped below 300,000 a day for the first time in three weeks – but as the country grapples with a second wave, it must also contend with a killer cyclone.
Cyclone Tauktae bore down on India on Monday, disrupting the nation’s urgent response to its devastating Covid-19 outbreak.
At least 12 people died over the weekend as Tauktae, the biggest cyclone to hit western India in 20 years according to local media, triggered gale-force winds, torrential rains and high tidal waves along the Karnataka, Kerala and Goa coasts.
It comes as India’s health ministry on Monday reported 281,386 coronavirus cases, dropping below 300,000 for the first time since April 21.
But daily deaths remained about 4,000 and experts warned that the count was unreliable due to a lack of testing in rural areas, where the virus is spreading fast.
At the current rate India’s total caseload since the epidemic struck a year ago should pass the 25 million mark in the next couple of days. Total deaths were put at 274,390.
Indian covid sufferers are now contracting deadly ‘black fungus’ infection with spike causing a shortage of the drugs to treat it
Mucormycosis, dubbed ‘black fungus’ by medics, is usually most aggressive in patients whose immune systems are weakened by other infections.
‘The cases of mucormycosis infection in Covid-19 patients post-recovery is nearly four to five times than those reported before the pandemic,’ Ahmedabad-based infectious diseases specialist Atul Patel, a member of the state’s Covid-19 taskforce, told AFP.
In the western state of Maharashtra, home to India’s financial hub Mumbai, up to 300 cases have been detected, said Khusrav Bajan, a consultant at Mumbai’s P.D. Hinduja National Hospital and a member of the state’s Covid-19 taskforce.
Randeep Guleria, director of AIIMS Hospital in Delhi warned that secondary infections like mucormycosis or ‘black fungus’ were adding to India’s mortality rate with states having reported more than 500 cases recently in COVID-19 patients with diabetes.
Some 300 cases have been reported so far in four cities in Gujarat, including its largest Ahmedabad, according to data from state-run hospitals.
The western state ordered government hospitals to set up separate treatment wards for patients infected with ‘black fungus’ amid the rise in cases.
‘Mucormycosis – if uncared for – may turn fatal,’ the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), the scientific agency leading the government’s response, said in a treatment chart released on Twitter.
Covid-19 sufferers more susceptible to contracting the fungal infection include those with uncontrolled diabetes, those who used steroids during their virus treatment, and those who had prolonged stays in hospital ICUs, the ICMR added.
Treatment involves surgically removing all dead and infected tissue and administering a course of anti-fungal therapy.
But Yogesh Dabholkar, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Mumbai’s DY Patil Hospital, told AFP that the drugs used to treat those infected with the fungus were expensive.
One of the treatment drugs was also running short in government hospitals due to the sudden spike, he added.
‘The mortality rate is very high… Even the few that recover, only recover with extensive and aggressive surgery,’ Bajan said.
‘This is a fast-moving infection. It can grow within two weeks… It’s a Catch-22, coming out of a virus and getting into a fungal infection. It’s really bad.’
Reporting by AFP