Amidst the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) of Indian has announced that all the dead bodies of COVID-19 patients should be cremated irrespective of their religion and the funeral should not involve more than 5 people.
The BMC stated that the rituals which involve touching the body should be shunned. The BMC also said that burying the body will continue the risk of the coronavirus in the future. Hence, all the COVID-19 dead bodies should be cremated to avoid the spread of the virus.
“All the dead bodies of COVID-19 patients should be cremated at the nearest crematorium irrespective of religion. The rituals involving touching the body should be avoided. This is done in respect of Community leader who have brought to my notice that existing burial grounds are in a highly dense locality with high chances of contamination of dense community/ residential areas nearby.
The additional process of packaging the body in a plastic bag and burying same prevents easy decomposition and risk continuing the virus for future spread. Hence, all the COVID-19 dead bodies should be cremated to avoid transmission changes in the community. Burial should not be allowed.
Adding that the cemetery staff should cremate the bodies using protective equipment like masks and gloves, the Municipal Commissioner added that the hospital authority should inform the local police station and then hand over the body.
Experts believe that the Indian Health Ministry’s detailed guideline earlier this month regarding the handling of infected dead bodies has many loopholes.
In India’s state of Bihar, family members kept a coronavirus infected dead body at their home for paying last respects. It later led officials to force the whole village in Munger district to go into quarantine.
Likewise, in Delhi confusion prevailed after first coronavirus victim died. His body was taken to Nigambodh Ghat crematorium located on the banks of River Yamuna. For want of clarity, officials kept family members along with the dead body waiting for several hours, before directing them to an electric crematorium.
The guidelines issued on Feb. 20 and now accepted globally have specified the thickness of the leakproof plastic bag. According to guidelines, the body bag should not be less than 150 microns and should accompany with another layer of a mortuary sheet or opaque bag.