Regional

Meghalaya’s first victim of COVID-19 laid to rest

Correspondent Shillong, April 16 | Publish Date: 4/16/2020 9:48:37 AM IST

Renowned physician and philanthropist, Dr. John L. Sailo Rynthathiang, who succumbed to COVID-19, was laid to rest on Thursday based on the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Health, a government official said.

He was laid to rest on Thursday afternoon at Riatsamthiah Presbyterian Church cemetery in Lawmali area a day after the Meghalaya government failed to convince the local residents of Jhalupura to allow the cremation at government-owned electric crematorium. 69-year-old Sailo, the Director of Bethany Hospital in Shillong, passed away in the early hours of Wednesday morning, 24-hours after he tested positive for the deadly virus. Sailo was the first person to have tested positive for COVID-19 in Meghalaya. “The mortal remains of Dr Sailo were laid to rest at Riatsamthiah Presbyterian Church cemetery in Lawmali area as per Christian rituals,” Chief Secretary M.S.Rao said. Workers of Shillong Municipal Board, who wrapped up themselves in personal protective equipment, took the task of the pallbearers carrying the casket from the ambulance to the graveyard. Rev. Lyndan Syiem of the Presbyterian Church conducted the funeral service in presence of Rev. E.R.Tynsong, Church Elder W Kharlyngka and officials from the health department, police department and district administration.

Ironically, the COVID 19 victim was a physician himself and the director of Bethany hospital, which made National and International for caring for President Abdul Kalam in 2015.

Kalam had collapsed while delivering his lecture “creating a livable planet” at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong which is a few kilometer away from the hospital. Kalam was rushed to Bethany hospital but breathed his last at the hospital. A few years ago, the director together with then Home Minister Roshan Warjri inaugurated the APJ Abdul Kalam Accident and Injury Care Unit at Bethany hospital and said he had bigger dreams about the hospital. The hospital also took care of other personalities including Governors and stalwarts, not to mention scores of people from all over the State and the region. However, few could help the deceased during his hour of crisis. Meanwhile, it’s still not clear how the victim contracted the virus, but there is a distinct possibility that he could have contracted it while caring for his patients in the hospital.


-Tags:#COVID-19

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