As the number of deaths of Covid-19 patients are increasing on a daily basis in the country, relatives and family members often find it difficult to bury the deceased due to the confusion over the virus's spread from the dead body.
Against this backdrop, voluntary organisation Al-Rashid Foundation has come forward to bury the bodies of people who have succumbed to coronavirus.
Talking to The Daily Star, M Shahadat Hossain Taslim, founder of Al-Rashid Foundation, said after taking approval from and being training by the Ministry of Health, a team of 30 people, including Islamic scholars, are working round the clock to bury bodies of Covid-19 victims.
Taslim, also president of Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh, said they are using one refrigerated ambulance and two normal ambulances to transport bodies from hospital to the respective graveyard, crematorium or church for funeral.
He said Al-Rashid Foundation has buried 10 bodies in different districts, including Dhaka and Comilla, so far.
"On Eid day, our volunteers sacrificed their Eid celebrations and buried three people who died of Covid-19 infection," said Taslim.
"The outbreak of coronavirus has made it apparent that there is no respite even in death for those who suffered from the disease," he said, adding that there have been several instances where people were protesting against burial of Covid-19 victims at graveyards in their neighbourhoods.
"Even families and relatives are often scared to go near the body of the dead."
It also happened that a body was abandoned without anyone to arrange for the funeral, Taslim said.
"That's why I have taken this initiative so that those who died of Covid-19 are being buried with honour and dignity," he added.
"Our volunteers move to act as soon as they get a call from the family of the deceased, hospital authorities or the Ministry of Health."
In addition to ordinary citizens, family members of expatriate Bangladeshis or members of HAAB will be given special priority by Al-Rashid Foundation.
Expatriate Bangladeshis from were urged to call hotline number01844664456 to avail ambulance service.
Taslim said that once the current crisis surrounding coronavirus is over, Al-Rashid Foundation will conduct other activities, including setting up clinics to provide medical services to the destitute across the country.
He also said they have plans to set up free ambulance servicesto transport dead bodies, as well as a job-oriented educational institution for underprivileged street children.