In violation of COVID-19 norms, relatives of a deceased coronavirus-infected patient at Nizamabad allegedly carried his body in their own autorickshaw for burial after they managed to secure it from the state-run government hospital with a relative's help.
The incident occurred on Friday, a day after the patient died while undergoing treatment.
An official release said three coronavirus deaths were reported at the Nizamabad hospital and the bodies were at the disposal of mortuary personnel after completion of formalities.
While the administrative personnel of the hospital were busy with management of COVID-19 cases, two corpses were sent in ambulances from the mortuary, it said.
Before the vehicles returned for the other body, the relatives of the Bhimgal village resident exerted pressure on the mortuary staff, saying they have their own auto and carried it.
They performed the funeral at a graveyard in Nizamabad.
As part of COVID-19 guidelines in disposing of those succumbing to the infection, the bodies are sent in an ambulance with a police escort.
According to an official, the family members of the deceased, who owned an auto, took the body, saying there would be delay in the arrival of an ambulance.
A relative of the family, who comes to the hospital often for certain works, helped them, he said.
Meanwhile, the mortuary personnel have been served notices.
Taking serious note of the incident, state Director of Medical Education Ramesh Reddy ordered a detailed inquiry.
The hospital superintendent has been instructed to file criminal cases on the staff who were involved in handing over the body, another release said.
All the hospital superintendents are instructed to strictly follow the guidelines and such incidents should not repeat in public interest, Reddy said.