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Doc seeks govt help to get mother's body back form China

Mumbai: A doctor from Mumbai has sought help from the Indian government to get his mother's body back from China, which is hit by the coronavirus epidemic.

The body has been kept at the morgue of a hospital in Zhengzhou since January 24, when Rita Rajinder Mehra died.

Dentist Puneet Mehra, 35, told PTI that the Embassy of India at Beijing informed him on Monday that the transportation of his mother's body has got delayed in view of the restrictions on movement of people and vehicles in China after the coronavirus epidemic in the neighbouring country.

The Bandra-based doctor has, thus, sought desperate help from the central government to get back his mother's body at the earliest so that her last rites can be performed here with due respect.

According to the doctor, on January 24, he and his mother were travelling from Melbourne to Mumbai via Beijing on Air China flight.

After about nine hours of the flight take-off, his mother went to the lavatory. But, as she failed to return to her seat, Mehra alerted the crew.

The lavatory door was later opened and Mehra's mother was found in an unconscious state, he said.

A doctor and a nurse, who were among the passengers, and the crew tried cardiopulmonary resuscitation and later the plane made an emergency landing at Zhengzhou Airport, but the woman died by then, he said. Puneet Mehra returned on February 7, but his mother's body is still at the morgue of Henan Provincial Hospital in Zhengzhou.

The doctor has written to President Ram Nath Kovind, office of the External Affairs Ministry and the Ambassador of India in Beijing to help in getting back the body.

"I have also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and requested the government to facilitate the process of transportation of my mother's remains back to Mumbai at the earliest so that the last rites can be performed with due respect," Mehra said.

He said this situation has caused a lot of stress to him and my family.

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