Gangtok:In 24 hours, Sikkim recorded two COVID-19 related deaths, taking the total casualty to seven. A 43-year-old army man based in 17th mile, East Sikkim who died of cardiac arrest was found to be COVID-19 positive after autopsy. The second victim, a 27-year-old COVID-19 positive person from Rongli, died of MDR-TB co-morbidity on Monday.
Forensic expert Dr OT Lepcha of STNM Hospital, informed this correspondent that, “The patient from 17th mile appears to have suffered a cardiac arrest. His superiors maintain that he had no travel history in the last 7-8 months, even they were surprised as to how he got infected. He was brought dead to the hospital.”
Upon the arrival of the dead body to the hospital on Monday, a COVID-19 test via Truenat sampling, confirmed him of being positive. Dr OT Lepcha also highlighted, “We remained unaware that the body was COVID-19 positive and carried out an autopsy. While as per protocol, we do not perform an autopsy on a COVID-19 positive deceased. Unaware until the Truenat results came, we carried out the autopsy, now we are worried if we have been exposed to the virus as well.”
Although the east district administration wants all COVID-19 cremations will be done at Jalipool an exception was made for the army man.
East District Magistrate Raj Yadav stated, “The patient being an army man from West Bengal, his remains will be ferried back home for last rites after a request from the army. The SOP for the similar cases in future have to be discussed with the state and district administration.”
The cremation of the 27-year-old youth COVID-19 positive person from Rongli was performed at Jalipool. “Rongli in East Sikkim which had no protocols on handling COVID-19 deaths. Therefore, the district administration opted to bring the deceased to Jalipool Crematorium, where his final rites was conducted,” informed GMC Commissioner HK Chettri.
Gangtok Municipal Corporation will be administering crematorial proceedings for all COVID-19 deaths in East Sikkim, maintained East DC and GMC Commissioner.