The body of a COVID-19 victim which was prepared for cremation was reportedly removed from the Panthiya Crematorium in Matugama, following an order received to allow another body, which was taken in a VIP vehicle, to be cremated.
The body of a 93-year-old female, who died of COVID-19 at home in the Galmaththa area in Matugama, was taken to the Panthiya crematorium for cremation by an ambulance.
The body was brought by health workers under the supervision of the Public Health Inspectors (PHI) and placed at the crematorium for cremation.
The 93-year-old's body, which was set to be cremated, was removed from the crematorium and placed in the ambulance on the orders of a high-ranking official to allow another body which was later brought for cremation, embarrassing the health workers and the PHI.
As a result, the body of the COVID victim had to be kept in the ambulance for more than two hours causing health risks. (Bimal Shyaman Jayasinghe)