Yagna being performed on the New Civil Hospital campus on Tuesday

SURAT: Amid unceasing sirens of ambulances bringing in Covid-19 patients, chants of hymns recited on a loudspeaker rented in the air at state-run New Civil Hospital, south Gujarat’s biggest Covid-19 hospital, on Tuesday evening as Arya Samaj members organized a yagna with an aim to ‘eradicate’ coronavirus.
Members of Arya Samaj, Bhatar claimed that they were called by the top NCH administration to hold the yagna on the campus.

“We held yagnas at Ramnath Ghela and Kurukshetra crematoriums earlier in the day and the same yagna will be performed at Ashwini Kumar crematorium today. I was called by the NCH dean to conduct this ritual near the Covid hospital today,” Umashankar Arya, president of Arya Samaj, Bhatar, told TOI.

At present, NCH has 1,500 beds for Covid-19 patients of which 1,300 are occupied. NCH is admitting coronavirus patients at Covid-19 hospital, kidney hospital and its old building.
Ritambhara Mehta, dean of Government Medical College, told TOI: “Many volunteers come to offer social service in Covid hospitals and they proposed we should do something for the worried relatives of patients. Hence, I allowed some music or singing activity, but I was not aware that they had planned a yagna.
The relatives are not allowed inside the hospital and a shed has been erected for them outside the hospital building.
Arya said they have been holding such havans and yagnas in different areas of Surat city. “It is the best therapy as per Hindu rituals since we do not have any medicine for this virus,” he claimed.
The group arrived at the hospital in a van along with all the material required for a yagna, priests and women participants. The yagna continued for over one hour.
“Arya Samaj people came and asked for permission to hold a yagna. We allowed them since it’s a religious activity and related to trust,” said Harish Umrigar, president of Ramnath Ghela crematorium.