An elderly Indian woman whose family believed she had died from COVID-19 was moments from being cremated when she opened her eyes and began crying

·2-min read
india covid mass cremation
A mass cremation of people who died due to COVID-19 in New Delhi, India, on April 22, 2021. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
  • A woman in India, believed to have died from COVID-19, woke up moments before her own cremation.

  • The 76-year-old was already on a funeral bier when she woke up crying, shocking family members.

  • The woman tested positive for COVID-19 several days ago, but her current condition is unknown.

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A 76-year-old Indian woman, who was believed to be dead after testing positive for COVID-19, shocked her family members when she woke up minutes before her own cremation, local media reported.

The woman, identified as Shakuntala Gaikwad from Baramati, had tested positive for the coronavirus last week.

After her condition deteriorated, family members drove her to a Silver Jubilee Hospital on May 10 but were unable to secure a bed for her because all the wards were full.

While they anxiously waited outside in a private vehicle, the woman became unconscious, leading the family to believe she had passed away.

Read more: People in India are smearing cow dung over their bodies to ward off COVID-19 as second wave crisis worsens

The family took her back home and started preparing for cremation, but just before the funeral bier was about to be set alight, Gaikwad opened her eyes and began crying, according to local media. Local policeman, Santosh Gaikwad, confirmed the incident had taken place.

The woman was taken back to the hospital for further treatment, Dr. Sadanand Kale, the founder of Silver Jubilee Hospital, told India Today. Her current condition is not known.

India is still in the midst of a devastating second coronavirus wave. It is reporting record-breaking new cases and deaths every other day as people are struggling to find hospital beds, oxygen, or medical treatment.

The country has reported more than 24 million cases and more than 270,000 deaths so far, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University. Experts say actual numbers could be five to 10 times higher.

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