Pune: In humanitarian work, this social welfare group is performing last rites for COVID-19 victims
Crematorium staff members stand near ambulances carrying the bodies of COVID-19 victims for a cremation in New Delhi (Image for representational use)Image source: Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP

Pune: In humanitarian work, this social welfare group is performing last rites for COVID-19 victims

A social welfare group in Pune is performing the last rites for COVID-19 victims

Pune: Donning PPE kits and following all COVID-19 health protocols, a social welfare group in Pune is performing the last rites for COVID-19 victims. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic last year, a social welfare group in Pune is performing cremation and burial of abandoned and untaken corpses of COVID-19 victims.

This group is working tirelessly with the Pune civic body (Pune Municipal Corporation) to give an honourable farewell to COVID-19 victims, irrespective of their caste, creed and religion and claimed to have performed the last rites of over 1,200 victims.

"We don't differentiate between religions. All we understand is humanity. We perform last rites for corpses of both Hindu and Muslim victims," Javed Khan, a member of the team working under the Ummat Foundation was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. The Ummat Foundation includes about 40 members, including some mobile technicians and auto-rickshaw drivers in the age group of 22 to 64.

"We have been helping conduct the last rites of COVID-19 victims, irrespective of their religion, for the last 14 to 15 months. So far, we have buried or cremated over 1,200 victims in Pune city and adjoining villages in the Maharashtra district," Javed was further quoted as saying by PTI.

He informs that number of fatalities in the second wave of the novel coronavirus has gone up and the members of the group are working round the clock. Recalling a recent incident, he said that the group received about the death of an elderly member of a Brahmin family, which was in isolation due to the contagion. The volunteers geared up in the PPE kit reached the place and brought the mortal remains to a crematorium and directed the last rites as per their rituals.

Ummat Foundation started its noble work three years back with cremation and burial of unclaimed dead bodies in Pune city. Soon after the COVID-19 crisis, the flow of deceased from around the city increased, forcing the organisation to increase its services.

When asked how do they practice this during the holy month of Ramadan, they said that even during their fasting, they sleep or rest only for four hours as they receive phone calls from the local administration and families of COVID-19 deceased since early morning. All 40 members, who are fasting, contribute to this task. The group is also receiving applause from various fields for humanitarian work.

Meanwhile, Pune district on Tuesday witnessed a decline in new cases. The district reported 8,988 fresh COVID-19 cases, 151 fatalities and 11,324 recoveries in the last 24 hours, according to the Health Department of Pune. The district currently has an active caseload of 96,299 while the number of total cases stands at 8,08,220. The death toll mounts to 12,608.

On the positive front, 6,159 patients in PMC limit (Pune city) followed by 2,376 in Pimpri Chinchwad were recovered on Tuesday taking the total recoveries to 6,99,482 in the district so far. Due to stringent restrictions in place from the past few weeks in Pune, it is seen that recoveries are more than the new cases in the district.

Crematorium staff members stand near ambulances carrying the bodies of COVID-19 victims for a cremation in New Delhi (Image for representational use)
Silver lining as COVID-19 recoveries see big rise in Pune

COVID CARE BEDS AT NANDURBAR RAILWAY STATION

The India Railways has set up 2,670 COVID Care beds at nine railway stations around various districts of the country, an official statement said on Monday. The Ministry in a statement said, “In Nandrubar (Maharashtra), 24 isolation coaches with a capacity of 292 beds have been deployed. This facility has registered 73 admissions till date. Of the 55 patients' admissions in the current Covid spell, 7 patients have been discharged. Four new admissions were recorded today. The Unit has 326 beds still available for Covid patients.”

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