The covid-19 pandemic is not only annihilating humanity across all age groups but has now also begun to dismantle pious family relations. Believe it or not, very own family members are now abandoning their near and dear ones after their deaths from coronavirus, apprehending they might catch an infection if they dared to perform their last rites.

In the latest incident, a sitting judge from the Siwan district in Bihar refused to perform the last rites of his 70- year-old father after he died from coronavirus last week.

The judge admitted his father to the local Covid care centre last Monday when he developed the Covid symptoms. Later he tested positive for the virus and eventually died on Friday.

After his death, the hospital staff contacted the judge and requested him to take his father’s body for cremation but he refused. Instead, he asked the hospital authorities to perform the last rites of his father.

“We can’t take his (father’s) body home since my entire family might get infected. Please perform his last rites at your level,” a health official quoted the judge as having told them.

The judge was unmoved even after the local administration intervened and finally authorised a local lawyer to receive his father’s body from the hospital and perform his last rites. It was then that his father’s body could be cremated with the help of local social workers on the banks of a local river.

A tragic story came from the Gaya district where a family abandoned their young son after he succumbed to coronavirus last week.

Let aside his cremation, the family didn’t enquire about his condition since he was admitted to the hospital on 25 April. Eventually, it was the local district administration that performed the last rites of the youth on the banks of river Falgu.

Another heart-rending story came from Darbhanga district where a youth abandoned the body of his father at the local medical college and hospital and fled the scene after his death from coronavirus last month. He refused to take his body for cremation despite repeated requests from the hospital authorities.

Here, an NGO official performed his last rites. Last week, the visual of a teenage girl dressed in a PPE kit and burying her dead mother went viral on social media. The girl had to bury her mother since no relatives or co-villagers helped her cremate her mother who died from Covid-19. The incident took place in the Araria district of Bihar.