Call to end stigma over last rites of COVID-19 victims

 thehindu.com  08/02/2020 18:18:35 

During the times when many lives are being lost due to COVID-19, the horrific images of bodies being disowned by families have been shocking. Responding to a series of incidents, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has announced that the government would provide 15,000 to families for conducting the last rites and in cases where families are not willing the State government will take up the responsibility of conducting the final rites.

Following the directions of the Chief Minister, the district administration has decided to launch a campaign to destigmatise the controversy over cremation/burial of bodies.

Joint Collector A.S. Dinesh Kumar along with revenue personnel attended the funeral of a 57-year-old man who died at Vijayawada. The funeral that was done at the Maha Prastanam in Bongaralabeedu in the presence of NGOs and managing committee members was an eye-opener.

Mr. Dinesh Kumar wore a mask and stood at a distance watching the funeral while Amma Charitable Trust president lit the funeral pyre. It was conducted as per COVID-19 protocol.

No risk

There is nothing to fear about cremating or burying the body of a COVID patient. Studies have proved that the virus does not stay in the dead body for more than 5-6 hours and all viruses have only a life of 24 hours in a body. We are giving a call to families to make sure that their near and dear ones are given a decent funeral and the government will give all support. We have identified three places where gas-based crematoriums would be installed soon with the support of corporates and NGOs, said Mr. Dinesh Kumar.

Mandal Revenue Officer, Guntur East, Srikanth and Maha Prastanam committee member Narayana Rao were present.

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