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Deceased Handwara youth declared Covid +ive was ‘abducted’, thrashed badly, claims family

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SRINAGAR:  Mystery shrouds the death of an 18-year-old boy who was admitted to SMHS hospital for head injuries, but eventually turned out to be COVID 19 positive.

Hailing from Monabal village in Langate, the teenager was admitted to SMHS hospital for severe trauma on May 12. During the investigation, doctors found that he was suffering from bilateral pneumonia. His swab was sent for tests that came back positive for COVID 19 on Sunday evening. On Monday morning, he succumbed.

“He had a history of assault. He had been admitted for head injuries on June 12. On June 13, his samples were drawn for tests. On June 14, his reports came back positive and today morning he passed away,” said Dr. Nazir Choudhary, Medical Superintendent, SMHS hospital.

Dr. Choudhary said police are investigating into the case and autopsy can only determine the cause of the death. “Police are investigating the matter. The boy was admitted to our hospital for reasons other than COVID. During the investigation, it was found that he had bilateral pneumonia as well,” he said.

Police have sent his body for the autopsy to determine the cause of death. “We are waiting for the postmortem report. The report will clear the air about the cause of death. Since the incubation period for COVID is 14 days, he died within three days. It becomes all the more important to find out the exact cause of the death given the physical assault,” said a senior police officer.

The family, however, questioned the COVID test saying the deceased was abducted last week and thrashed seriously in the captivity. “There was a family dispute in the village. He was abducted by a group of people and thrashed in captivity. Twenty-four hours later he was released in serious condition. We got him admitted to SMHS hospital for a head injury. Yesterday we got calls that he has been tested positive,” said Liyaqat Ali Peer, uncle of the deceased.  

Peer said the deceased had no health-related complications. “How come his reports came so early? There were patients in the ward who said their reports are awaited for long. We want an impartial inquiry into it,” he said.

Police said they are investigating the matter and a massive hunt has been launched to nab the culprits. “We are looking into it. Let us wait for the report before reaching to any conclusion,” said an officer.