A two-month-old baby boy died at a hospital in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, after the parents abandoned him because he'd tested Covid positive. Health officials are trying to track down the couple after they evaded repeated attempts by the hospital to contact them.
"Yesterday (Monday) morning we received a two-month-old child suffering from multiple problems, including a heart condition. By 8.30 pm he died. We conducted a COVID-19 test and it was positive," Dr Dara Singh, the Medical Superintendent at Jammu's Sri Maharaja Gulab Singh Hospital, said.
"Subsequently we requested parents to take COVID-19 tests. They said they would do so... but then fled. Our security team tried to trace them...," he added.
The last rites of the baby have yet to be performed because of legal issues; in the absence of any heirs hospital officials said they had to wait for 72 hours before the funeral can be arranged.
"The baby's body is at the hospital mortuary and is being assessed as per Covid guidelines, after seeking permission from the district administration," Dr Singh said.
Jammu and Kashmir reported 51 Covid-related deaths on Monday - the most in a day. A significant number of those deaths were reported from Jammu. The UT also reported over 3,700 new cases on Monday, which takes the active caseload to over 34,000.
This morning India reported more than 3.5 lakh new cases nearly 3,500 deaths in 24 hours.
The country is battling a devastating second Covid wave that has seen its active caseload jump to a record high of more than 34.5 lakh. The total caseload - more than 2.02 crore Covid infections - is the second-highest in the world, behind that of the United States and ahead of Brazil.
With input from PTI