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Last Updated : Oct 07, 2020 02:27 PM IST | Source: Reuters

These Indians share the stories of loved ones they lost to the coronavirus pandemic

The 30 victims were ordinary people from all walks of life and included police officers and doctors on the frontlines of the fight against the virus. In what is still a conservative and developing country, some of the relatives said they faced ostracism after their loved ones caught the virus. Others said they have suffered from depression and money troubles.

Reuters
Eight months after the novel coronavirus arrived in India, the number of deaths from the disease crossed 100,000 on Saturday. Nearly 6.5 million people have been infected in total, second only to the number in the United States. Reuters met and interviewed relatives of 30 people who died of the disease in India, from coastal Kerala on the country's southern tip to the Himalayan region of Kashmir in the north. The 30 victims were ordinary people from all walks of life, and included police officers and doctors on the frontlines of the fight against the virus. In what is still a conservative and developing country, some of the relatives said they faced ostracism after their loved ones caught the virus. Others said they have suffered from depression and money troubles. All said more could have been done to save the people who died. (Image: Reuters)

Eight months after the novel coronavirus arrived in India, the number of deaths from the disease crossed 100,000 on October 3. Nearly 6.5 million people have been infected in total, making it second only to the United States in number. Reuters met and interviewed the relatives of 30 people who died of the disease in India, from coastal Kerala on the country's southern tip to the Himalayan region of Kashmir in the north. The 30 victims were ordinary people from all walks of life, and included police officers and doctors on the frontlines of the fight against the virus. In what is still a conservative and developing country, some of the relatives said they faced ostracism after their loved ones caught the virus. Others said they have suffered from depression and money troubles. (Image: Reuters)

Aliza Ali, 12, shows a picture on her phone of her father Javed Ali, a government doctor, who died due to the COVID-19, as she poses for a photograph, in New Delhi, India, September 23. "He was taking all the precautions while continuously working on the frontline without any breaks until he got symptoms. I am proud of him; my children are proud of him. But we are having an extremely difficult time to cope with the present situation. Not a single day goes by when we don't remember Javed and cry," said Javed Ali's wife, Hena Kausar, a doctor. (Image: Reuters)

Aliza Ali, 12, shows a picture on her phone of her father Javed Ali, a government doctor, who died due to COVID-19, as she poses for a photograph, in New Delhi, India, September 23. "He was taking all the precautions while continuously working on the frontline without any breaks until he got symptoms. I am proud of him; my children are proud of him. But we are having an extremely difficult time to cope with the present situation. Not a single day goes by when we don't remember Javed and cry," said Javed Ali's wife, Hena Kausar, a doctor. (Image: Reuters)

Khushboo, 26, a student, shows a picture on her phone of her father Shakeel Ahmad Baba, a government employee, who died due to the coronavirus disease, as she poses for a photograph, in Srinagar, September 24. "Our lives changed drastically after my father passed away, he was a loving father, a decision maker. He died because of improper healthcare facilities in the hospital. He would have survived had there been a proper oxygen supply in the hospital. A day before his death I spoke to him on the phone and he told me to pray for him and the next day he passed away. His death left a great void in our entire family," said Khushboo. (Image: Reuters)

Khushboo, 26, a student, shows a picture on her phone of her father Shakeel Ahmad Baba, a government employee, who died due to the coronavirus disease, as she poses for a photograph, in Srinagar, September 24. "Our lives changed drastically after my father passed away, he was a loving father, a decision-maker. He died because of improper healthcare facilities in the hospital. He would have survived had there been a proper oxygen supply in the hospital. A day before his death I spoke to him on the phone and he told me to pray for him and the next day he passed away. His death left a great void in our entire family," said Khushboo. (Image: Reuters)

Rekha Khandait, 38, a housewife, shows a picture on her phone of her husband Jayant Khandait, 58, a police head constable, who died due to the coronavirus, as she poses for a photograph, in Mumbai, India, September 27. "I know my husband has passed away but I can still feel his presence. I can't believe that six months have passed. I still haven't told our son about his father's death," said Khandait. (Image: Reuters)

Rekha Khandait, 38, a housewife, shows a picture on her phone of her husband Jayant Khandait, 58, a police head constable, who died due to the coronavirus, as she poses for a photograph, in Mumbai, India, September 27. "I know my husband has passed away but I can still feel his presence. I can't believe that six months have passed. I still haven't told our son about his father's death," said Khandait. (Image: Reuters)

Sanjib Chatterjee, 34, shows a picture on his phone of his mother Chitra Chatterjee, 62, a housewife, who died due to the COVID-19, as he poses for a photograph, in Kolkata, India, September 25. "The last memory was when she was diagnosed with COVID-19," said Chatterjee. "We came to know about it after we received a call from the health department saying that she needed to visit the hospital," she added. "I hugged her and told her don't worry and we will be back soon." (Image: Reuters)

Sanjib Chatterjee, 34, shows a picture on his phone of his mother Chitra Chatterjee, 62, a housewife, who died due to the COVID-19, as he poses for a photograph, in Kolkata, India, September 25. "The last memory was when she was diagnosed with COVID-19," said Chatterjee. "We came to know about it after we received a call from the health department saying that she needed to visit the hospital," she added. "I hugged her and told her don't worry and we will be back soon." (Image: Reuters)

Asim Khan shows a picture on his phone of his brother-in-law Jamal Khan, 41, a farmer, who died due to the coronavirus, as he poses for a photograph, in New Delhi, India, September 24. According to Asim, Jamal developed a fever in August and local doctors failed to realise he was COVID-positive. It was only when he was transferred to Delhi, ten days after he first became ill, that he was diagnosed. By then, his lungs were badly damaged, and he died soon after, according to his brother, Asim. "My brother-in-law was a farmer. He never got sick and was healthy," said Asim. "If he would have been diagnosed on time in his own native place, he would have surely survived." (Image: Reuters)

Asim Khan shows a picture on his phone of his brother-in-law Jamal Khan, 41, a farmer, who died due to the coronavirus, as he poses for a photograph, in New Delhi, India, September 24. According to Asim, Jamal developed a fever in August and local doctors failed to realise he was COVID-positive. It was only when he was transferred to Delhi, ten days after he first became ill, that he was diagnosed. By then, his lungs were badly damaged, and he died soon after, according to his brother, Asim. "My brother-in-law was a farmer. He never got sick and was healthy," said Asim. "If he would have been diagnosed on time in his own native place, he would have surely survived." (Image: Reuters)

Rahul Adhav, 26, a pharmacist, shows a picture on his phone of his father Bhaginath Jagannath Adhav, a police officer, who died due to the COVID-19, as he poses for a photograph, in Mumbai, India, September 28. "Life has become lonely since my father passed away, no one can take his place in the family. My dad did his best while on duty urging the general public to maintain social distancing etc. I request people to maintain social distancing and co-operate with the police. The police are doing their best to serve you. I also request that the government to provide financial support to families of police who died while serving the people in the pandemic," said Adhav. (Image: Reuters)

Rahul Adhav, 26, a pharmacist, shows a picture on his phone of his father Bhaginath Jagannath Adhav, a police officer, who died due to the COVID-19, as he poses for a photograph, in Mumbai, India, September 28. "Life has become lonely since my father passed away, no one can take his place in the family. My dad did his best while on duty urging the general public to maintain social distancing etc. I request people to maintain social distancing and co-operate with the police. The police are doing their best to serve you. I also request that the government provide financial support to families of police who died while serving the people in the pandemic," said Adhav. (Image: Reuters)

Sunita Patil, 44, a housewife, shows a picture on her phone of her husband Vivek Patil, a music teacher, who died due to the coronavirus disease, as she poses for a photograph, in Mumbai, India, September 27. Vivek died suddenly at home in Mumbai before a bed at a local hospital became available. The next morning, Sunita said, municipal workers came to the house shouting for them to come outside to be taken to a quarantine centre. "They were not sensitive to the fact that there has been a death in the family just a day back, and we are in mourning," she said. "I have two young daughters with almost no income. It will be very hard for us to live without my beloved husband." (Image: Reuters)

Sunita Patil, 44, a housewife, shows a picture on her phone of her husband Vivek Patil, a music teacher, who died due to the coronavirus disease, as she poses for a photograph, in Mumbai, India, September 27. Vivek died suddenly at home in Mumbai before a bed at a local hospital became available. The next morning, Sunita said, municipal workers came to the house shouting for them to come outside to be taken to a quarantine centre. "They were not sensitive to the fact that there has been a death in the family just a day back, and we are in mourning," she said. "I have two young daughters with almost no income. It will be very hard for us to live without my beloved husband." (Image: Reuters)

Nadeem Akhtar, a social worker, shows a picture on his phone of his sister Shabana Ahmed, 52, an architect, who died due to the coronavirus, as he poses for a photograph, in New Delhi, India, September 24. "What really upsets me more than the healthcare system was the behaviour of society," Akhtar said. "My sister's neighbourhood boycotted her family. There was no emotional or moral support even after her death. Society failed us." (Image: Reuters)

Nadeem Akhtar, a social worker, shows a picture on his phone of his sister Shabana Ahmed, 52, an architect, who died due to the coronavirus, as he poses for a photograph, in New Delhi, India, September 24. "What really upsets me more than the healthcare system was the behaviour of society," Akhtar said. "My sister's neighbourhood boycotted her family. There was no emotional or moral support even after her death. Society failed us." (Image: Reuters)

Dixit Vinodbhai Patel, 19, a student, shows a picture on his phone of his father Vinodbhai Maganbhai Patel, 54, a shopkeeper, who died due to the COVID-19, as he poses for a photograph, in Ahmedabad, India, September 25. "After my father's death, all responsibility is on my head as my father was the only earning member in our family. Presently I try to fulfil all family requirements, I try to be a good son, a loving brother. My college is closed at the movement, but when it starts, I will quit my studies to take care of my family," Dixit said. (Image: Reuters)

Dixit Vinodbhai Patel, 19, a student, shows a picture on his phone of his father Vinodbhai Maganbhai Patel, 54, a shopkeeper, who died due to COVID-19, as he poses for a photograph, in Ahmedabad, India, September 25. "After my father's death, all responsibility is on my head as my father was the only earning member in our family. Presently I try to fulfil all family requirements, I try to be a good son, a loving brother. My college is closed at the movement, but when it starts, I will quit my studies to take care of my family," Dixit said. (Image: Reuters)

Mohd Rehan, holds a phone with the photograph of his brother Mohd. Fareed, 62, a businessman, who died due to the coronavirus disease, in New Delhi, India, September 24. "He had no symptoms and was laughing when the first test results came. He thought there was some mistake. His health suddenly deteriorated next day and he died a day after. It was unbelievable. He was a very jolly person" said his brother Mohd Rehan, a businessman. (Image: Reuters)

Mohd Rehan, holds a phone with the photograph of his brother Mohd. Fareed, 62, a businessman, who died due to the coronavirus disease, in New Delhi, India, September 24. "He had no symptoms and was laughing when the first test results came. He thought there was some mistake. His health suddenly deteriorated the next day and he died a day after. It was unbelievable. He was a very jolly person" said his brother Mohd Rehan, a businessman. (Image: Reuters)

Abida Begum, 55, a housewife, shows a picture on her phone of her son-in-law Luqman Ahmed, a factory worker, who died due to the COVID-19, as she poses for a photograph, in New Delhi, India, September 26. "My son-in law was a good husband, a good father. He is gone too early. A lack of medical facilities killed him. He would have survived had there been proper medical care in hospitals. I appeal the government to ensure that they have good medical facilities in hospitals for the poor like us, so that people survive this pandemic," Begum said. (Image: Reuters)

Abida Begum, 55, a housewife, shows a picture on her phone of her son-in-law Luqman Ahmed, a factory worker, who died due to the COVID-19, as she poses for a photograph, in New Delhi, India, September 26. "My son-in law was a good husband, a good father. He is gone too early. A lack of medical facilities killed him. He would have survived had there been proper medical care in hospitals. I appeal the government to ensure that they have good medical facilities in hospitals for the poor like us, so that people survive this pandemic," Begum said. (Image: Reuters)

First Published on Oct 7, 2020 02:26 pm
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