After the anguished photo of a Vietnamese ethnic man in the northern province of Son La carrying the covered body of his deceased sister home by bike, a local Facebook user has posted another picture of a similar incident reportedly occurring at the same hospital.
The photo, posted by Dieu Thi Hai Q., from Son La’s Quynh Nhai District, shows family members tie the covered body of their dead father onto a motorbike on September 8.
“Due to insufficient income, they had to carry their father back to their hometown on their own after not being able to afford a decent form of transportation,” Q. said in the caption.
According to the Facebook post, the deceased man was 57 years old, and the photo was taken at Son La Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases Hospital, the very hospital where a deceased female patient was also taken home by one of her siblings on motorbike on September 12.
Both patients in two photos were residents of Quynh Nhai District, Q. said.
Luong Van Tuan, director of the hospital, confirmed the incident as shown in the photo posted by Q. with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Tuan said the deceased man had succumbed to tuberculosis.
“The patient passed away after being admitted for about an hour,” he told Tuoi Tre.
“A representative from the department where the patient had been treated told me that the family wished to carry the body in that way.”
Tuan claimed that the hospital had offered the family VND1 million (US$44.84) as support for the patient’s funeral ritual.
The heartbreaking photo of Q. came just days after another picture went viral on social media on Wednesday, showing a man, identified as Lo Van Muon, carry the covered body of his deceased sister Lo Thi P. back to their hometown by motorbike.
Muon said that he had resorted to wrapping his sister in a mat and carried her home on his bike because he was not able to afford a decent form of transportation.
During an interview with Tuoi Tre, an official from the Ministry of Health said P. had left the hospital in a very bad state of health, and eventually passed away shortly into the journey to home.
Luong Ngoc Khue, director of the Medical Service Administration under the Ministry of Health has ordered clarification of the case of P., with a firm penalty to be issued if any violation is detected.
Asked if it is a common practice for people to take deceased patient home from the hospital on motorbike, which had remained secret until it was revealed by the photo of P., doctor Tuan said he was "uncertain".
"But to this point I can say these were the only two cases known so far," he said.