COVID-19 and confusion over cremation in Mangaluru

 COVID-19 and confusion over cremation in Mangaluru
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Mangaluru: We have heard about opposition for the cremation of COVID-19 patients in faraway places. But things turned same in Dakshina Kannada on Thursday when the district administration had to run around searching for a proper place to cremate the 75-year-old COVID-19 patient who died on Thursday. The scared people were seen opposing cremation near their house.

The 75-year-old woman (P-432)was suffering from stroke and was under treatment at a private hospital. Her daughter in law (P-390) who was tested COVID-19 positive last died on Sunday.
Two days ago (P-432)’s condition deteriorated and was shifted to Wenlock District Hospital. She was tested positive on Thursday afternoon and by evening she had died.

As the last rights of a positive patient are done as per the guidelines, the district administration decided to conduct the cremation at the nearby crematorium in the city.

But they had faced the opposition of the local people on Sunday when they had taken the body of P-390 to Bolar crematorium.

On Thursday the body of P-432 was taken to the Pachhanady crematorium for the last rights.
By then a large number of people had gathered who opposed the cremation of the woman and wanted the officials to take her to Bantwal.

Mangaluru City North MLA and Doctor by profession Dr. Bharath Shetty Y too joined his voice with the people of his constituency.
He also tweeted his stand and the reason for his opposition.

“Cremation with fire is an accepted method to dispose dead body of patient with COVID19 +ve case. However,1000’s of people including women gathered in Pachhanady who were in Panic with rumours & reluctant to move. In order to protect law &order,we had to change plan,” he claimed in his tweet.

The officials were confused about what to do next. They also contacted Bantwal MLA Rajesh Naik U who voluntarily declared to provide a space in his private land to perform the last right of the woman.

“She is from my constituency and there should not be a situation that a person does not have a land to be cremated. I will provide a place in my land,” he declared.

Meanwhile, the officials tried their best and decided to conduct the cremation at Kaikunje, which is near to the woman’s house at Bantwal.

People of Kaikunje who knew about the opposition in Mangaluru were concerned. Here too they gathered in large numbers. However, the officials pacified the people and conducted the last rights at around 2 am.

However, this incident has been seriously condemned by the general public as well as activists.
“It is really sad that such incidents are taking place in various parts of the country. What is more saddening is that it has been repeated in our district too,” educationist M G Hegde told The Canara Post.

“People had opposed the cremation of the COVID patient last Sunday and MLA Vedavyas Kamath had somehow managed the situation and helped in cremation. It looks like the leaders and the district administration did not learn anything from that,” he said.

“The leaders and the officials should have planned it properly. As soon as the first incident took place last Sunday, they should have called the influential people and leaders and asked to help clear the confusion from the minds of the people. Had they done it such things would not have happened. I am really hurt by yesterday’s incident,” he added.

Former Mayor K Ashraf who condemned the incident lauded Bantwal MLA Rajesh Naik U.
“Nobody is permanent here. Death due to COVID-19 is very disturbing as even the near and dear ones cannot come near the dead. In such a situation, not allowing the last rights to be performed is inhuman. Nobody would repeat this in Muslim graveyard,” he added.

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