Kochi

Last rites of dead: No cause for alarm in Ernakulam district

File photo from a funeral at Chullikkal.   | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

Crematoriums, cemeteries and other burial places in Ernakulam district have so far been able to manage the situation arising out of the increase in arrival of bodies due to Covid fatalities, sources said.

Kochi Corporation-run crematoriums at Ravipuram, Edapally, West Kochi and Pachalam are coping with the increase in arrival of bodies, including of members from the Christian community, Corporation sources said.

"There is no problem at all in any of the crematoriums, neither is there any inordinate waiting to cremate bodies," said Mayor M. Anilkumar.

Watch | What is happening in India's crematoriums?

Church crematorium

The preferance shown by family members of many Covid infected people who died, to cremate the bodies has resulted in the Syro-Malabar Church making efforts to establish a gas crematorium adjacent to a cemetery in Trikkakara. "The initiative is awaiting permission of the local body and district administration. Even members of non-Catholic denominations could opt for the facility once it is readied," said a church office bearer.

The church had given its nod to cremate bodies in 2020, following the pandemic situation. The mortal remains is then collected in a box and buried in the cemetery. An alternative was to bury bodies of Covid-infected people in a 10-feet-deep pit in vacant uninhabited land.

The CSI church permitted cremation of bodies even before the pandemic situation arose, said Fr. John Joseph, clergy secretary of the Cochin Diocese. "Bodies of Covid-affected people are cremated, their mortal remains collected in a box and buried in a coffin in six-feet-long tombs. The church insists on medical certificate, even for non-Covid deaths, to be doubly sure," he said.

Prayers in connection with last rites are offered at the crematorium before the body is cremated. Else, the bodies are buried in 10-feet deep pits, with everyone around, including priests, wearing PPE kits.

There has been no pressure on space in burial grounds of members of the Muslim community either. Only that bodies of Covid patients are buried a few feet deeper, it is learnt.


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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 2:26:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/last-rites-of-dead-no-cause-for-alarm-in-ernakulam-district/article34497767.ece

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