AMARAVATI: In an attempt to clear apprehensions among the commoners, Guntur district joint collector Dinesh Kumar personally participated in the funeral of a Covid-19 victim on Sunday. Surprisingly, he attended the funeral without wearing the PPE kit to show that virus could not be contracted 6-7 hours after the death of a Covid-19 patient.
A 57-year-old person of Challapalli village of Krishna district died of Covid-19 while undergoing treatment at Government General Hospital (GGH), Guntur. However, the family members refused to take away the body to perform the final rites. Upon learning about the incident, joint collector Dinesh Kumar swung into action and roped in Amma Charitable Trust to perform the funeral. Along with the representatives of the trust, joint collector himself visited the burial ground where the funeral was performed as per the religious traditions of the victim. The Amma trust chief Swamy Gnana Prasanna Giri himself lit the pyre by going close to the dead body.
“We wanted to send a message to the people across the state that virus will not contract them if they perform the final rites of their kin 6-7 hours of the death. The dead fully deserved the dignity of getting the final rites,” said Dinesh Kumar. He said that it was deplorable that family members were deserting the bodies for fear of turning positive to the Covid-19. He said that they could at least take the bodies after 24 hours and perform the final rites without any fear and panic.
“They could wear PPE kits and take little care if they still have fear. In my view, they would not need any kits after 24 hours,” asserted the joint collector. He said that Covid-19 positive bodies would be sprayed with sodium hypochlorite and packed in sealed bag as a precautionary measure. He thanked Amma trust for coming forward to conduct funeral of the deceased as per the religious customs of the individual.
In a similar gesture, Kurnool legislator Hafeez Khan personally performed the funeral of a person who succumbed to Covid-19 while wearing a PPE kit.
Meanwhile, district principal and sessions judge and chairman of District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), Gopichand has directed the police to book criminal cases against those obstructing the funerals of Covid-19 victims. “As per IPC 297, 341, 147 and 148, it is a crime to create hurdle in the funeral of the dead persons. We advise people not to do so,” said the district judge. He said that people who are finding difficulty in performing the final rites could take the assistance of DLSA at mobile number 9440901048.

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