Bahraich (UP), April 16
“Don’t be careless about Covid,” a forest officer wrote to his friends in a poignant farewell message before leaving the “lap of Mother Earth” from a Lucknow hospital.
Yashwant Singh, the divisional forest officer (DFO) at Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, tested positive for coronavirus on April 2 and was admitted at a private hospital in the state capital.
He died there on Thursday, Bahraich Divisional Forest Officer Manish Singh said.
The officer sent a WhatsApp message to his friends from his hospital bed, telling them about his imminent death which took place three days later.
“After spending 55 and a half years in the lap of Mother Earth, I am leaving for my last journey. Don’t be careless about Covid. My blessings remain with everyone. Yashwant,” he wrote in Hindi.
Singh was cremated in Lucknow, where his family lives, amid the COVID-19 protocol that restricts the number of people at the funeral. He had taken provisional charge of his new post six months back.
The officer is survived by his wife, an engineer son and a daughter who is an MBBS intern, according to Dabeer Hasan, a project officer with wildlife NGO WWF.
Manish Singh sent Yashwant Singh’s message to Hasan just before the colleague’s death.
There were 812 active COVID-19 cases in Bahraich city on Thursday. Seventy-nine people have died there so far due to the infection, Chief Medical Officer Rajesh Mohan Shrivastava said. PTI
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