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Cemetery workers refuse burial, NGO steps in

The death of Alexander (65) due to Covid-19 at St John‘s Hospital on Friday was yet another reminder of the fears associated with the dreaded epidemic.

Published: 14th July 2020 03:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th July 2020 03:07 AM   |  A+A-

Medics and family members perform burial of a person who died of COVID-19 during the nationwide lockdown in the national capitalNew Delhi.

For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The death of Alexander (65) due to Covid-19 at St John‘s Hospital on Friday was yet another reminder of the fears associated with the dreaded epidemic. With relatives worried about taking the body back and workers at a Christian cemetery on Mysuru Road claiming that they did not know the protocol involved, it was left to an NGO Mercy Angels to carry out the burial of the former painter,  on Saturday evening.

This was possible because Jerry Jockin, a distant relative of the family, knew about the work of this unit attached to NGO Mercy Mission. Mercy Angels has helped in performing the last rites of 75 Covid victims of different faiths so far in Bengaluru. “My cousin’s uncle passed away at St John’s around 5 pm on Friday. But because it was a Covid death, even relatives were worried about taking his body back. When I contacted the cemetery on Mysuru Road on Saturday morning, I was told that this was the first Covid body they were receiving and they did not know the right safety procedures,” Jockin said. 

Jockin said, “The volunteers came to the hospital and took the body by ambulance to the cemetery by Saturday evening. They facilitated the digging of the grave and the burial too.”The issue of grave diggers refusing to bury Covid victims for fear of contracting the disease has been surfacing in the city on and off for the last one week.

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