Unexpected shocking scenes in the Sanakhemundi block of the Kankarada village in Odisha were witnessed as the body of an anganwadi supervisor, who was engaged as a frontline worker in the fight against the novel coronavirus, lay at a garbage dump for several hours before being taken for cremation. The deceased, Asana Patra, a 55-year-old woman, passed away due to COVID-19 on Saturday as her daughter watched helplessly after nobody stepped forward to carry the body to the crematorium. 

Asanta first developed symptoms similar to coronavirus last month and had been advised to quarantine herself at her home. However, her health began spiralling downwards after which her husband attempted to take her to a COVID-19 hospital in an auto-rickshaw as there was no ambulance available. But, it was too late as the woman passed away en route to the hospital in the auto-rickshaw. 

Neighbors refused Asanta's body to be brought back to her house as neighbors in the village raised objections thinking she was affected by COVID-19, which they felt could possibly spread. Having no other option than to make amends for himself, the dead woman's husband told his daughter to wait beside her body and guard it while he arranged for wood and other materials required for a cremation. 

Soon after, a few locals in the village informed the local administration of the incident with Berhampur Sub-Collector along with a team of health officials reaching the spot at the right time. Swab samples were collected and Asanta's body was then taken to the cremation site. Ganjam Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange expressed grief over the death of the corona warrior. 

Odisha's total number of coronavirus cases has crossed the 14,000 mark with 543 fresh cases on Tuesday. The state's COVID-19 death toll mounted to 74 with four more patients succumbing to the disease, a health department official said. The total number of active cases in the state currently stands at 4,929 out of the 14,280 while 9,255 patients have made a recovery from the disease and have since been discharged for their homes.