India's 'Corona Warrior' hero who cremated bodies of 1,300 victims dies of virus

A man who was referred to as a “corona warrior” after the cremation of the bodies of 1,300 Covid victims has died of the virus.

Chandan Nimje, 67, was unable to receive treatment or a bed in the hospital despite risking his own life to perform the final rites for the victims of the pandemic.

He was congratulated by the Mayor of Nagpur, India, for his courage over the past 18 months.

But Chandan, a retired government employee, finally caught the virus himself earlier this year and succumbed to it on May 26.

Arvind Rataudi, who worked closely with Chandan, said: “We approached everyone, not only about financial aid, but also about a bed and medication, but no one answered.

“We contacted the commissioner, collector, and other senior officials from Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), but no one helped the person who went out of their way to bring dignity to over 1,300 citizens.”

Chandan, whose sons also died from Covid, worked with King Cobra Youth Force (KCYF) volunteers when family members refused to approach the bodies of loved ones who had succumbed to the virus.

It is believed that Chandan contracted the virus when he received his first dose of the vaccine and later developed a mild fever before his sister, two sons, and wife showed symptoms.

All five tested positive, and Chandan’s health deteriorated when volunteers searched for a hospital bed.

A worker helps cremate the bodies of Covid victims on the banks of the Ganges

Arvind added, “I personally called the collector, NMC chief and political leaders to arrange an injection. But no one took calls.

“One of our volunteers in Delhi named Arjun, who knew Dada, then sent four vials of tocilizumab by indigo flight without asking for money.

“If, with our thousands of activists, we did not manage to get help for the old man in time, imagine the plight of ordinary people because of such an attitude by the authorities.”

Other volunteers and family members carried out Chandan’s cremation, The times of India says.

But the crematoria in New Delhi ran out of wood last month, with so many deaths occurring every day.

Uttarkashi mayor Ramesh Semwal said he had directed local authorities to take care of the bodies in the river.

He said, “In the past few days the number of deaths in our area has increased. I also learned that corpses are not properly cremated, so I instructed the administration to cremate half-burned bodies in Kedar Ghat.”

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