Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Stuck in coronavirus quarantine quagmire, Mumbai woman's body to finally reach India after 40 days

The body of an Indian woman -- who died suddenly on January 24 on board a Melbourne-Beijing-Mumbai flight -- will finally reach Mumbai for her last rites, 40 days after her death following severe restrictions in place due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to information available here on Tuesday.

Bharatiya Janata Party state vice-president Kirit Somaiya, quoting Indian Embassy in Beijing, said that the Indian Ambassador Arvind Kumar had informed that the mortal remains of Rita Rajinder Mehra have been handed over by Babaoshan Funeral Home to a cargo agent at Beijing Airport early on Tuesday.

The coffin will be flown in by an Etihad flight EY-889 from Beijing to Abu Dhabi and then onto to Mumbai by Etihad flight EY-208 on Wednesday afternoon.

The family has said the funeral ceremony is expected to be performed on Wednesday night around 9 p.m. at the Santacruz Crematorium, said Somaiya.

Her son, a dentist based in Bandra, Dr Puneet Mehra said he and his mother were travelling by an Air China Melbourne-Beijing-Mumbai flight on January 24. However, nearly nine hours into the flight, his mother went to the toilet but failed to return, and the flight crew was alerted.

The toilet door was opened to find Rita Meha lying unconscious on the seat and all efforts to revive her failed. The aircraft made an emergency landing at Zhengzhou Airport but the passenger could not survive and had died by then.

While Puneet Mehra returned to Mumbai on February 7, his mother's body was kept at a morgue in a Zhengzhou hospital. In view of the severe restrictions on domestic travel in China after the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus then, the body continued to remain in the hospital morgue even as Mehra made frantic efforts to get it to Mumbai for the funeral ceremonies.
03/03/20 IANS/India Today

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