Odisha: Sub-Collector, staffers cremate elderly man as kin abandon body fearing COVID

Bhanjanagar: Going beyond the call of duty, Bhanjanagar Sub-Collector Rajendra Minz and some staffers of his office cremated an elderly man as family members of the deceased abandoned the body fearing COVID-19 infection in Bhanjanagar area of Odisha’s Ganjam district.

According to reports, 65-year-old Kalicharan Sahu of Landeisahi in the area was admitted to Bhanjanagar Hospital three days ago after he complained of breathlessness.

As his oxygen level dropped, he was shifted to the Dedicated Covid Care Centre here. However, he breathed his last while undergoing treatment.

Fearing COVID-19, his kin refused to receive the body. On being informed about the situation, Bhanjanagar Sub-Collector Rajendra Minz reached the spot along with Sub-division PRO Fakir Mohan Majhi, Hospital Supervisor Bichitra Kumar Panigrahi, Revenue Assistants of the Sub-Collector’s office Biswajeet Sethy, Fakir Mohan Swain and Balaram Jani.

Displaying an exemplary act of humanity, the officials wore PPE kits and took the body to a crematorium located on the outskirts of the town in Mahaprayan hearse and cremated it.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has praised the officials for the act. “Appreciation for the humanitarian gesture of Bhanjanagar Sub-Collector Rajendra Minz who along with others performed last rites of a 65-year-old succumbed to COVID-19 at Bhanjanagar Dedicated Covid Care Centre. Such humane gesture will inspire others,” the CM said.

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