Amit Behera travelled more than a thousand kilometres from Mumbai fervently hoping to see his cancer-stricken father on his deathbed for the last time.

But his wish remained unfulfilled as his father died on Friday while he was in a quarantine centre a few km away from a hospital in Balasore district where the older man was being treated.

Behara who hails from Guhalia village of Balasore district and works in Mumbai's Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital had reached Oisha on Tuesday to see his father Damodar one last time. But he did not get to stay with his father as he was taken to the institutional quarantine centre at his village for a 21-day stay. His father passed away at the hospital on Friday afternoon and Behera could not see him.

"On Thursday, I had last spoken to my father through video-call and promised him that he would meet him. But all my requests to the nodal officer of the quarantine centre to allow me to visit my father at hospital were turned down. It would always haunt me that I could not see him on his deathbed," said the youth.

After the death of his father, the sarpanch allowed Behera to perform the last rites on Friday afternoon but asked him to return to the quarantine centre by 5 pm. Behera hurried through the funeral, while breaking down several times.

Behera's father was diagnosed with cancer and in 2017 was being treated at Tata Memorial. After being treated for three years there, he had come back to his home last year. But two months ago, the 60-year-old again fell sick. As the lockdown was on, he could not be taken to Mumbai and instead admitted to the district headquarters hospital in Balasore where he died.

"I will always regret that I was unable to speak to my father," he said.

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