Rescue 1122 burial staff rendering commendable services amid COVID-19

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By Muhammad Atif Ismail

MULTAN, May 17 (APP):Amongst various frontline warriors against COVID -19, the performance of burial staff of Rescue 1122 is matchless and highly commendable while the Emergency Service enjoys a trustworthy repute among the masses.

Since its inception in 2004, the organization has developed into largest humanitarian service in the country with strong infrastructure, especially in all districts of Punjab. Rescue 1122 is not only maintaining its quality and swift service standards but also improving its working whenever a need arises.

After the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the responsibilities of Rescue 1122 increased manifold. Responding to the pandemic, the Rescue 1122 (Multan) constituted a 12-members Burial Staff to perform funeral and burial ceremonies of the patients, who pass away owing to coronavirus fatal attack, following the complete Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), set by World Health Organization, stated District Emergency Officer Rescue 1122 Dr Kaleemullah.

Superviser Burial Staff Rescue 1122 (Multan) Abdur Raheem while talking to APP said, the Burial staff had buried nearly 50 persons so far in different areas of Punjab province . “We follow guidelines issued by World Health Organizations during funeral and burial of the bodies”. He further said that they also facilitated burial of non-Muslim dead bodies. “We wrap the dead bodies in special attire and also disinfect coffin for safe burial”. Similarly, the heirs of the dead were also given special attire so that they could make safe approach and see their deceased persons from recommended distance, stated Abdur Raheem. Although, it was very painful for the heirs but they had to follow WHO’s recommendations to keep other members of the family safe and secure, added.

Abdur Raheem said, “We (Rescuers) have no fear of pandemic and serve the society with complete dedication”. We are working for last 10 to 12 years and we experience emergency like situations on daily basis. However, members of my family express concerns but I am not afraid of pandemic as I follow complete precautionary instructions against the COVID 19″, said Abdur Raheem adding “My mother says goodbye with lots of prayers for my health on daily basis when I take my way to office. On my return to home, I use to visit a special room at first floor of my home where I change my dress and take bath with hot water. Nobody is allowed to visit this special room as precautionary measure against COVID-19”, he remarked. He also expressed satisfaction that he had undergone coronavirus test twice and the report remained negative.

Zahid, an ambulance driver of the Burial Squad, also observed, “I led funeral prayers of about 20 coronavirus dead bodies; as we are more aware of precautions and have special attire so we have no fear, adding that the community should express responsibility and follow special instructions of social distancing.

“We have buried dead bodies in different cities of the province including Lahore, Faisalabad and some other areas according to wishes of the heirs that burial should be done at ancestral graveyards, he added.

Superviser Burial Staff Abdur Raheem said that they also facilitated burial of dead body of a Christian youth in Lahore as per their religious rituals.

About response of heirs of the dead bodies and social distancing, they informed that most of the heirs of the coronavirus dead bodies cooperated with the team. However, in some places, help from local administration was sought for awareness of the heirs.

Ali Raza, another active member of the Burial squad said, “We are in contact with Isolation ward and thus keep complete data of the coronavirus deceased persons. Similarly, we seek assistance from police, municipal corporation and district administration concerned for burial of the dead bodies.