ARIYALUR: A 70-year-old Covid patient ditched by relatives on death bed was given a final farewell he would not have thought of - a Hindu, Muslim and Christian performing the final rites.
Sources said the septuagenarian, a widower living alone at Idaikuppam village in Cuddalore, visited his brother in Ariyalur on July 28.
He came down with fever the next day and tested positive for Covid and was admitted in the Ariyalur GH. He died on July 31.
Health officials informed his married daughter in Cuddalore and his brother's family. His daughter did not turn up, but his nephews reportedly paid a brief visit to the hospital and left without completing any formalities to bury him. Repeated attempts by health officials to contact his relatives drew a blank.
Ariyalur Municipality Sanitary Inspector M Muthu Mohammed, Ariyalur PHC Health Inspector M Vigil, Ariyalur Non-Medical Supervisor Simon and Ariyalur police SI K Nandhakumar then turned pall bearers and buried him amid heavy rain.
Mohammed said, "We contacted his relatives over the mobile phone but they refused to complete the paper work and be present for the burial and did.We decided to bury him and arranged a earthmover to dig the pit. We waited for a few hours hoping for some of his relatives would turn up but in vain. It was only after we buried that I realised we belonged to different religions. This is humanity."