Bhanjanagar (Ganjam): Social stigma and fear of infection are still ruling the roost everywhere, especially in the rural pockets of the Stste, when it comes to the cremation of Covid patient’s bodies.
With Covid 19 expanding its fatal footprints across the State, it continues to expose the dark side of the society as blood relations shun and disown the mortal remains of their near and dear one for the fear of infection.
Once such incident has been reported from Bhanja Nagar area in Ganjam district on Saturday. Left unattended for several hours, the body of an elderly woman who passed away during treatment at a Covid care centre, was finally cremated by the village sarpanch with the help of some volunteers.
According to reports, Sashi Pradhan of Mujagada village here in the district was admitted to a local Covid care centre after she developed corona symptoms including fever, body ache and others few days ago.
However, she died while undergoing treatment at the health centre. After some days of treatment, her swab sample came negative for covid-19.
The health centre workers took the body to her village as her report had come negative.
However, her family members and neighbours allegedly refused to lend shoulder fearing infection.
The local sarpanch, Shiba Shankar Pradhan came forward along with some village youths and took the body to the cremation ground wearing PPE kits before performing the funeral rites, reports said.
The sarpanch said their initiative would help eradicate social stigma and inspire others to come forward and extend help at the crisis hour.
“I along with some village youths came forward to cremate the body of Sashi Pradhan who succumbed to Covid 19. Her family members and relatives refused to perform the last rites due to stigma and fear of infection. Ultimately, we performed the death rituals so that fellow villagers will get inspired,” he said.
People should honour the mortal remains of their near and dear one and perform the last rites as per tradition with maintaining Covid appropriate behaviors, he added.