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Warangal: No dignity in death for Coronavirus victims

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Dignity in death has become a hot commodity

Warangal: Dignity in death has become a hot commodity. Indeed, the Covid-19 has made honouring the dead a hurried affair. Forget about chanting Vedic hymns and sprinkling holy water that part of last rites, the time has come like that even the family members are refusing to claim the bodies of their loved ones who died of Covid-19.

The mortuary, adjacent to Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital (MGMH), was overwhelmed with the bodies of Covid-19 victims until the authorities on Thursday handed over nine of them to the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) to perform the last rites. With the locals opposing cremation of coronavirus victims in their regions, left with a tough task the civic body had finally performed last rites at the Pothana Nagar graveyard. It may be mentioned here that the GWMC has already scouting for suitable locations to establish three graveyards for Covid-19 victims – one each for Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities.

Meanwhile, it's alleged that the civic body had shown disrespect towards the dead by cremating four bodies en masse. Speaking to The Hans India, the Municipal Commissioner Pamela Satpathy said, "We have deployed a hearse van to carry the bodies, and the handling of bodies of Covid-19 has standard operating procedure, which we duly followed. The last rites were carried after taking an undertaking from the victims' family members. And there was no question of disrespecting the dead."

"With the relatives refusing to claim the bodies due to fear factor, understandably the last rites are devoid of rituals. It's an unenviable situation which no one likes to come across," the graveyard attendant said.

Meanwhile, the GWMC had begun efforts on war footing to install an electric crematorium near Pothana Nagar graveyard, an ideal location due to its proximity to the MGMH mortuary. Taking the locals' objections, a separate road will be laid to it, according to officials.

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