COVID victims are formally bid farewell as relatives stay away

The row of packed corpses lined up on the floor in front of the morgue of the Government Hospital of Sri Venkateswara Ramnarain Ruia’s government painted a bleak picture.

Though they came from different family backgrounds, socio-economic classes, castes, and religions, they all reached the morgue as corpses, and their relatives were unable to perform the final rites. In a moving gesture, the government arranged for the final rites to be performed for the 21 people who had died of COVID-19. Garlands were offered to the bodies and the rituals performed according to their social customs.

MLA Bhumana Karunakar Reddy, who performed the final rites by putting on a PPE suit, carried the bodies in procession. He expressed his regret at how even blood relatives, seized with fear and guilt, observed the rituals from afar. “When a whole family dies, the bodies are unclaimed. This is not an economic problem, but a humanitarian one. We need to get rid of fear and of course, decently say goodbye to the deceased by taking precautions, ”he added. Mr Reddy was infected with COVID-19 twice last year.

Maha Prasthanam, a Rotary Club-supported organization, carried out the final rites for Hindu bodies, while the Muslim JAC took charge of the burial of the bodies of their parishioners.

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