Fear of contracting COVID-19 kept relatives, neighbours and the local tractor driver away, as the body of Marripalli Janaiah, who died on Friday night, was carried to the grave in a cart.

A photo of family members replacing the bullocks and pushing the cart with the dead body at Akaram village in Shaligowraram surfaced on Monday.

As per information, the 32-year-old died of a liver ailment while being treated at Nalgonda district hospital on Friday night. The body was transported from Nalgonda to Akaram, about 35 kms away, in a vehicle. The final rites, with less than 10 people in attendance, were conducted on Saturday.

“There was no bier or other customs observed. Initially, it was decided to carry the body in a tractor trailer, but thinking about physical distancing norms and that the grave was nearby, they used a cart,” Venkat, a village local, said.

However, COVID sample result of Janaiah disclosed as positive by District Medical & Health Office on Monday has created alarm in the already panic-struck Shaligowraram. The mandal has reported three positive patients in less than a week, which locals say, are persons who commuted to Hyderabad or Nalgonda for work.

On Monday, following the positive result of the deceased, the police, medical and revenue teams visited Akaram and directed family members and persons who were in proximity with the body to isolate at home.

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