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Mother was Covid-free when she died — MP Alphons after row over her ‘public funeral’ in Kerala

Former Union minister K.J. Alphons was accused of hiding his mother’s ‘Covid positive status’ while bringing her body to Kerala from Delhi for burial.

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Bengaluru: An angry Alphons Kannanthanam, the Rajya Sabha MP and former Union minister, has denied claims that his mother had Covid-19 when she died, amid allegation that he had hidden her Covid-positive status while moving her body from Delhi to Kerala and conducting a “public funeral” in Kottayam in June.

Alphons landed in the row in Kerala after Kottayam-based human rights activist Jomon Puthenpurackal made the allegations against him through a Facebook post.

On 15 August, Alphons posted a video on Facebook in which he announced that he was launching a meal scheme in his mother’s name. In the video, he mentioned that his mother died due to Covid in June. 

The former Union minister, however, told ThePrint that while his mother did test positive for Covid-19, she had recovered from the disease, and that she tested negative twice before her death. 

“My mother was perfectly healthy at 91,” he told ThePrint. “She used to travel the world at that ripe age. But after Covid, her vital organs were affected. She passed away. But let me be clear, I have put out those documents as well, she had been tested negative twice after her admission to AIIMS.”

In another Facebook post, Alphons listed documents to prove his point. He also hit back at the activist, accusing him of being a “blackmailer”.  “A certain person, who does not even deserve to be named, has survived all his life blackmailing society. Leave us alone,” Alphons posted on Facebook.  

Puthenpurackal, however, denied the charges. 

“Why should I blackmail him?” I wanted to expose him,” he told ThePrint. “Did he mention that his mother had tested negative in that video? He did not. He wanted to use his mother’s situation to further his cause and gain more favour.” 

Puthenpurackal added, “He could have exposed people to the virus. Many people who went for the funeral are worried.” 

Body was flown to Kottayam, buried on 14 June

Alphons clarified to ThePrint that his mother had tested negative before her death. 

He said his mother first tested positive for Covid-19 on 28 May and was admitted to the intensive care unit of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi. The hospital conducted another test on 5 June and she tested negative, he added.

“A repeat test was also conducted on 10 June at AIIMS, which showed negative results. Even though she was cured of Covid-19, her lungs collapsed and she finally died of heart seizure,” Alphons told ThePrint. 

The body was flown to Manimala in Kottayam and kept for public viewing. His mother was finally buried on 14 June. 

Alphons told ThePrint that he at first did not want to respond to the allegations but was forced to when the controversy began brewing as he announced the meal scheme in his mother’s name. 

The former minister vehemently denied that his family didn’t follow the prescribed Covid protocols. As for mentioning that his mother died of Covid in the video, Alphons posted, “When a person dies of brain injuries in a car accident, do we say he/she died of brain injuries or do we say that he/she died of a car accident? Obviously a car accident.”

Also read: NIA, ED probe ‘link’ between Kerala gold smuggling racket and PFI, anti-CAA protests


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