Executing a task that many dread
A sanitary inspector leads a devoted group of workers in giving the unclaimed our bodies of COVID-19 sufferers a first rate burial
The outbreak of COVID-19 has thrown up many a problem, one in all which is giving a first rate burial to the sufferers who succumb to the virus, a task that is often unnoticed, unrecognised, and fraught with obstacles.
But right here is a gutsy public well being officer, who not solely overcame the preliminary fears related to the task but in addition stirred the collective conscience of a few others in performing the final rites of 72 sufferers (and nonetheless counting) within the final one 12 months.
K. Chinnaiah, a sanitary inspector within the Chittoor Municipal Corporation, was nervous when he took up the primary task of burying the unclaimed physique of a COVID-19 affected person through the first wave in 2020.
Soon, the 36-year-old officer was profitable in sloughing away the concern unleashed by the pandemic. After a lot brainwashing, counselling, and creating consciousness on coping with the our bodies, Mr. Chinnaiah succeeded in forming a devoted workforce of municipal staff to provide the useless a first rate burial.
People have been panic-struck through the first wave. Digging a grave in authorities lands used to draw the ire of the villagers residing close by. They would usually not relent till the intervention of the police and income officers, he mentioned.
With the variety of deaths rising on the district headquarters hospital right here, Mr. Chinnaiah introduced the complexity concerned in arranging the burials to the discover of Municipal Commissioner P. Vishwanath.
Soon, a one-acre forest land on the foot of a hill on the outskirts of Chittoor was earmarked for the aim.
“Our workers were anxious initially, but a sense of duty helped them overcome it. The workers do everything – from packing the bodies to transportation to digging the graves, and burying them. And they execute the task in strict adherence to the norms such as ensuring the correct depth of pits and sprinkling of disinfectants. They are also educating people to shun fears about COVID deaths,” Mr. Chinnaiah mentioned.
“Compared to the first wave, the casualties are more during the second wave,” he noticed.
However, regardless of a year-long marketing campaign, the response from the folks has not been very encouraging.
“Only a few could be convinced that the virus will not be active in a body after a certain time. Only a couple of families are coming forward to accept the bodies of their relatives,” he mentioned.
“In accordance with the Commissioner’s instructions, ‘one body one pit’ norm is being strictly ensured as a mark of honour to the departed souls,” Mr. Chinnaiah mentioned.
The sanitary inspector can be main from the entrance in creating consciousness amongst folks on COVID-appropriate behaviour comparable to sporting face masks, sustaining bodily distance, and utilizing hand sanitiser.
“Our mission is also to minimise deaths. Focus is also on home isolation cases and tracing their contacts. Most casualties occur due to neglect of co-morbid conditions during home isolation. We have formed a good number of paramedical teams to tackle such cases. It is also alarming that many casualties are among people below the age of 40 during the second wave,” he mentioned.