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Odisha doctor loses mother, goes on COVID-19 duty before performing last rites

A doctor in Odisha’s Sambalpur district is being hailed for his commitment and reporting to duty amid an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country despite suffering a personal loss.

Dr Ashok Das, Sambalpur’s assistant divisional medical officer, lost his 80-year-old mother Padmini Das on March 17. Das, appointed as the nodal officer in the district on Covid-19, carried on with his duty of spreading awareness about the disease even after his mother’s death.

Das attended multiple meetings in the district where he made labourers and farmers aware of the preventive measures for combating the novel coronavirus. He also went to the District Headquarters Hospital.

Later in the evening, he returned home and performed the final rites of his mother in the presence of family members.

“Serving people was more important than taking personal leave. Even if the loss was personal, my duty is for the society as a whole,” said Das.

The exemplary commitment of the doctor to his work came soon after a bureaucrat in the state was hailed by the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Association for showing up to his work despite a personal loss.

On March 16, 1993-batch Odisha-cadre IAS officer Nikunja Dhal took a day off to complete the rituals after his father’s death.

However, he was back at his work the next day and attended several meetings of the state government on ways to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

My Government India, a citizen engagement platform of the Union government, lauded Dhal for his dedication on Twitter.

Odisha has so far reported one positive case of the novel coronavirus as the 173 people, including those discharged and four deaths, have been infected as on Friday morning.

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