These frontline heroes have ensured dignified funerals for COVID-19 victims for over a year

Syed Hussain and Robert Rodriguez have packed the bodies of all 93 COVID victims in Kodagu and continue to work day and night without any leave since March last year

Published: 27th April 2021 04:38 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2021 04:38 PM   |  A+A-

Syed Hussain and Robert Rodriguez (Photo | Express)

Syed Hussain and Robert Rodriguez (Photo | Express)

Express News Service

MADIKERI: “I had not observed Ramzan last year and I won’t be able to take part in the festivities this year too. Work occupies a major part of my life now and my job has forced me to stay away from my family and friends,” said Syed Hussain, a forensic department staffer of Madikeri District Hospital, who is involved in packing the bodies of COVID-19 victims.

Syed joined the forensic department staff in the hospital nearly four years ago and there were moments when he questioned his career choice. “There were times when we had to conduct a postmortem of fetuses and it was heart-wrenching to carry out the job. But it was my duty,” he recalled. Syed, however, stuck to his choice and today he has offered exceptional service as a frontline COVID warrior.

Syed and Robert Rodriguez (the only other staffer in the forensic department) have packed all the 93 bodies of COVID-19 victims of Kodagu and continue to work day and night without any leave since March last year. “We have stayed away from our family since last year. It's painful not to be a part of the festivities. But we do not want to risk others' lives. I, however, visited my family last week. It was a short visit and I went to collect a few belongings,” said Syed.

He noted how it is stressful to always work wearing PPE kits and added that all healthcare workers including D-Group employees are working under stress to ensure the safety of citizens. “We have to do away with food and sometimes even drinking water as we are always wearing PPE kits,” he explained. He added that the government has not made new appointments to the district hospital and the existing staff is working under stress. “We do not get incentives for working overtime. Yet, we cannot demand things at this time of crisis and we go about doing our job,” he said.

He spoke out against publicity-seekers on social media and said, “We are working 24/7 under stress. Yet, some people shoot videos inside the hospital and make false allegations against healthcare workers. We do not expect anything huge in return for our work. The least we can ask from the public is respect. There might be a few loopholes in the hospital. But the public cannot highlight this illogically across social media for a minute’s fame. My only request to the public of Kodagu is – please respect all the healthcare workers. We too have family. But we are working for the greater good.”


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