Vehicles of waste management units have been carrying bodies of Covid victims in absence of funeral vehicles in Bajura district.

With the advent of a new and more virulent variant of coronavirus, five people have lost their lives to the contagion in the district. However, with the lack of appropriate vehicles, tippers are being used to ferry the bodies to cremation sites.

Bajura Hospital has failed to procure a funeral vehicle for the last two years resulting in such circumstance in the district, claimed Badimalika Municipality. Budget allocated towards purchase of the vehicle in fiscal year 2076/77 BS was returned.

In this fiscal year, although Rs 1.5 million was allocated by the province government to buy ambulance and hearse, the purchase is yet to be completed.

The lack of these vehicles has been creating lots of inconvenience and problems in the district, informed Dr Prakash Joshi, acting chief of District Hospital, Bajura. "This year too budget has been allocated for the ambulance and funeral vehicle but the process has only been started," Dr Joshi added. "It will take more than two months for the procurement of these vehicles."

Seeing their kin being ferried in waste management vehicles to their last rites is painful, lamented relatives of the deceased.

Due to the lack of ambulance, coronavirus patients are facing trouble visiting the district hospital or going outside the district for treatment. Although other patients are ferried in private vehicles, coronavirus patients are denied that means of transportation, informed Tek Bahadur Khadka, chief of Health Division of Badimalika Municipality.

The district will soon manage ambulance and funeral vehicle in the district, claimed Gopal Adhikari, Chief District Officer.