|The People’s Committee of Tân Chánh Hiệp Ward in District 12 hand over the ashes of people who died from COVID to their families. — Photo hcmcpv.org.vn|
HCM CITY — A requiem next Thursday (November 18) in HCM City will be held in remembrance of people who died of COVID during the fourth pandemic wave that has claimed more than 16,800 people in the city.
Venerable Thích Quảng Chơn, deputy head of Ceremonies of the Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha in HCM City, said the ceremony would be held at the Việt Nam Quốc Tự Pagoda in District 10.
“It will be organised in the safest and most solemn manner,” said Venerable Thích Quảng Chơn.
The sangha will work with the local authorities to decide on the number of people to be allowed to attend the event to ensure safety.
The monasteries in the city will also be praying for national peace and for the pandemic to be put under control, nationally and globally.
The ceremony will be attended by city leaders. Monks will recite sutras and make offerings to the victims.
The city has assigned the HCM City High Command to receive and return the ashes of deceased COVID-19 patients to families.
The High Command, which has the belongings of the COVID victims, has directed each High Command in city districts to return the belongings to their families.
Returning the ashes of the deceased to their family faced challenges due to the high number of infections and deaths during the fourth wave, according to the High Command.
The agency has set up teams to receive and handle corpses and handle burials, cremations, transportation and delivery of the victims’ ashes to their families.
As part of the support to the victims’ families, the city government is covering expenses for funeral services for the victims with each family receiving VNĐ17 million (US$740) for transportation, cremation and delivery of the ashes to them.
Cremation of the victims is carried out in accordance with the Ministry of Health's guidance to ensure safety.
If family members cannot directly receive the ashes of the deceased, the city’s Religious Affairs Committee transfers the ashes to be kept at temples or pagodas until the relatives come to receive them.
Cremation is being carried out at Bình Hưng Hòa Cemetery in Bình Tân District, the city’s major and largest centre, and Đa Phước Cemetery in Bình Chánh District, Phúc An Viên Cemetery in Thủ Đức City, and Tháp Long Thọ Cemetery in Củ Chi District.
People who die of COVID are often alone during their last minutes of their life and are separated from family members.
HCM City has recorded more than 440,000 infections since late April when the fourth wave began.
More than 16,800 people in the city had died from the virus as of November 9. The city's fatality rate of 3.8 per cent is higher than the national average of 2.31 per cent and that of other countries in Southeast Asia.
The country had recorded around 976,000 cases with more than 22,600 deaths as of November 9. — VNS