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'WHO Says It's Safe': Wife of Chennai Doc Who Died of Covid-19 May Move Court for Proper Burial

Representative image. (Reuters)

Representative image. (Reuters)

Dr Simon Hercules was unceremoniously lowered into a shallow grave in Velangadu after an ambulance driver and a sanitary inspector ferrying the body came under severe attack from locals who feared infection from the burial.

Poornima Murali
  • CNN-News18
  • Last Updated: April 25, 2020, 5:08 PM IST
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Chennai: The wife of Dr Simon Hercules, a Chennai-based neurosurgeon who died after battling coronavirus, said she is ready to take the legal route to get her late husband a proper burial .

The 55-year-old doctor, who contracted Covid-19 reportedly from his patients, was denied dignity in death after a mob attacked the ambulance which took his body to a cemetery in the city. He was buried in a hurry after opposition from locals, who feared the infection could spread from the body.

His teary-eyed wife, Anandi Simon, had then made a plea to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, for a proper burial of her husband. However, the Chennai Corporation Commissioner has responded by saying that exhuming the mortal remains of her husband and burying them again at Kilpauk was not safe.

Simon said that is determined to not let this go, and one of her options is to go to court. "As per WHO, the virus stays in the body of a dead person for just three hours. Accordingly, my husband's body can be removed from Velangadu in Chennai and be buried at Kilpauk," she told News18.

"This won't spread coronavirus. I believe in God and I'm hopeful that my husband's last wish will be fulfilled," she added.

Anandi Simon recalls how her husband did his best for the state and did not deserve such treatment. "He deserves to be buried as per his wishes," she said.

Hercules was unceremoniously lowered into a shallow grave in Velangadu in Chennai after an ambulance driver and a sanitary inspector ferrying the body came under severe attack from locals who feared infection from the burial.

The 55-year-old doctor was popular and ran the New Hope Hospital in Chetpet. He had contracted the disease after treating sick coronavirus patients and underwent treatment for 15 days.


After the incident, Simon, with folded hands, had urged Palaniswami to allow the removal of her husband's body from Velangadu for a proper burial in Kilpauk. She said her husband's last wish was to be buried according to religious customs.

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