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4-month-old's burial; Kerala health workers describe their heart-wrenching experience

Monday, April 27, 2020 • Malayalam Comments
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4-month-olds burial; Kerala health workers describe their heart-wrenching experience


The burial of the 4-month-old baby who succumbed to the deadly COVID-19 was held at Kannanparamba Cemetery, the burial ground of the Muslim community, on Friday. Supervised by Kozhikode Corporation Health Officer RS Gopakumar, a team of 5 members, including health inspector C K Valsan, junior health inspector Shameer, and two ambulance drivers along with the baby's father took part in the funeral, that was held following all the COVID-19 protocols. 

In an interview with TNM, the team narrated their heart-wrenching experience. “I can never describe what I felt when I held the baby’s lifeless body in my arms and placed her into the grave. It is beyond description,” said Shameer, who along with the team wore personal protective gear, goggles, and two layers of gloves while handling the body.

“I had the responsibility of carrying the baby’s body from the ambulance to the grave. In my nine years of service, I had not done anything like this before. I have two children, and my sister has a four-month-old baby. All these thoughts came rushing to me when we were burying her. It was the most difficult task I've ever had to do,” added Shameer.

CK Valsan said that he had gone numb at that moment. “I don’t know what exactly I felt, I had gone numb. But I should say that it was as if the baby was part of my family. It is with that much love at heart and respect that we bade her goodbye,” said Valsan CK.

Dr. Gopakumar, the man who had earlier courageously stepped to conduct the funeral of Nipah victims, said that the funeral of the baby touched him so much, despite undertaking the funeral of the 12 Nipah victims before. 

“Rather than me, it is my colleagues who have been affected the most. They had never in their lives done something like this before. Even though I had held the funeral of 12 Nipah victims, this one, funeral of the baby, touched me especially,” said Dr Gopakumar. Detailing the procedure, Gopakumar said that the procedures that they carried out during the burial of the Nipah patients in Kozhikode were followed during the burial of the baby too. 

The baby's father was allowed to attend the funeral only because he was tested negative once. However, he had to stay a particular distance away from the funeral spot. After the funeral which lasted for 10 minutes, the baby's father was sent back to isolation. The baby's mother also continues to be in isolation. 

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