Young doctor performs last rites of COVID victim

At a time when close relatives and even family members are maintaining a ‘safe distance’ from their near and dear ones, who died of COVID-19, a young doctor has set an example for others by performing the last rites of a poor man, as his wife and daughters watched helplessly.

“I have not done anything great, and I feel embarrassed to answer the queries from media persons. I had considered it as my responsibility and did it as a common man. The colony residents would have definitely helped the poor woman but for their fear of going near a COVID victim,” Dr. Boddu Ramachaitanya of Narava PHC told The Hindu.

“A few days ago, I got a call from an official of the Ward Sachivalayam at Mangalapalem that K. Satyanarayana (40) of the JNNURM Colony died of COVID-19 at his home. His wife and two daughters did not even have the money for the last rites,” he says.

“I rushed to their house without a second thought. There was no one to lift the body and place it in the ‘Mahaprasthanam’ vehicle. On learning that I went to the house of the COVID victim, two ward volunteers – Manohar and Hemanth – came forward to assist me in lifting the body. I gave them PPE kits and we three lifted the body and placed it in the vehicle. We performed the last rites at the cremation ground,” says Dr. Ramachaitanya appreciating the young volunteers.

He attended to a sick, old man, who was abandoned near a temple at Kothapalem, Gopalapatnam, in the past. He got the blood, liver and kidney function tests done but the old man died, before treatment could be started. Luckily, the old man had tested COVID-19 negative and there was no problem in shifting the body.

“I and my colleague were asked to monitor the condition of a 50-year-old man, who had consumed poison, during our posting at a General Medicine ward, during our internship about four years ago. The words of gratitude of the man’s son and daughter ‘you gave us back our dad’ still ring in my ears,” adds Dr. Ramachaitanya.


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