Relatives abandon body of Covid-19 victim on the road in Mityana

Mityana District Covid-19 surveillance team pictured disinfecting the casket containing the body of Eriyazaali Kalule, 70, after picking it from the road near Mityana Hospital. PHOTO/ BARBRA NALWEYISO

Residents of Mityana town have been left in shock after finding a casket with a body of a 70-year-old man said to have succumbed to Covid-19 abandoned on the road near Mityana General Hospital.

Eriyazaali Kalule, a resident of Bufuuma village in Kalangaalo Sub County, Mityana District died yesterday (June 26) at Entebbe Grade B hospital where he spent a week on Covid-19 treatment.

His body was transported to his home in an ambulance hired by one of his daughters who had been taking care of him in hospital.

However, chaos ensued when the other family members and residents learnt that Kalule had succumbed to Covid-19. They carried his body and dumped it on the road near Mityana hospital.

Mr Peter Bigirwa who works at a nearby washing bay said he and his colleagues discovered the body this morning (Sunday) as they were going to work.

"It's a pity that an old man’s body was rejected by his relatives due to Covid-19. This is the time for us who are not yet infected to protect ourselves by observing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) so that our bodies are not rejected by relatives when we die,” Mr Bigirwa, 30, said.

The Mityana hospital spokesperson, Mr Edward Muganga condemned the act and accused Kalule’s relatives of disturbing his peace and argued that it was not his will to die of the virus.

"Mityana hospital together with security are taking care of burial of Mr Eriyazaali Kalule at his ancestral home amidst tight security deployment," Mr Muganga said. 

The incident comes just hours after the Ministry of Health on Saturday said 38 more people had succumbed to Covid-19 as total number of virus deaths since March last year on Saturday rose to 868.

The ministry officials said the virus cases had risen by 943 to 77,505 as of June 24.