New Delhi: A day after it was reported that a Kolkata family was forced to keep the body of COVID-19 patient in a freezer inside their house for three days, another horrific incident has come to the fore exposing the delay of the authorities in issuing death certificates in such cases resulting in the helplessness of the families, which take drastic steps pushing several into the risk zones. Also Read - No one Helped us Cremate Body: Man Dies of COVID-19 on Monday, Family Keeps Body in Freezer For 48 Hours

The body of a COVID-19 patient was kept inside a shop in North Kolkata for around 15 hours by his family members after doctors at a hospital refused to issue a death certificate as his coronavirus test report was pending. Also Read - This Man's Idea to Quarantine on Boat in River During Coronavirus Pandemic is by Far The Best

The administration arranged for his cremation on Thursday afternoon after local people put up a road blockade demanding the removal of the body from the shop in the congested Ultadanga area, family members of the 55-year-old deceased said.

The 55-year-old owner of a sweetmeat shop in Ultadanga, who was sick for some time, underwent tests for COVID-19 infection on Wednesday and died after returning from the laboratory in the evening, family sources said.

His family members brought the body to the Kolkata Medical College and Hospital, a government facility, on Wednesday night but the doctors there refused to issue a death certificate, since the result of the coronavirus test was still pending, they said.

“We brought back the body from the hospital around 10 pm, kept it in the sweetmeat shop and informed the local police station about the situation. We all slept outside on the road,” the brother of the deceased said.

On Thursday morning, reports confirmed that he was suffering from COVID-19, following which locals blockade a road, demanding the immediate removal of the body from the shop, sources in the local police station said.

The civic body and the state health department were informed by the police station and the body of the man was removed for cremation around 1 pm, they said.

After that, the shop and the area around it were sanitised, an official of the state health department said.

The department was mulling the option of testing those who were working at the shop, he said.

“As of now, we have asked them to stay at home isolation. We are also trying to find out who had purchased sweets from the shop in the last few days,” the official said.

The incident occurred on a day when the city saw the highest single-day spike of 218 cases.

(With PTI Inputs)