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How to handle COVID-19 dead bodies?

Saturday, March 28, 2020 • Malayalam Comments

How to handle COVID-19 dead bodies?

To contain the spread of novel coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic, the management of infected dead bodies and their funerals remained a source of concern in the country. Being a new disease, there are many rumours spreading across social media platforms about the disposal of the deceased with Covid-19.

As it is unclear how long the virus stays in the dead body, India's Health Ministry has recommended a set of protocols for the disposal of bodies to prevent possible spread from secretions. Here are some important points.

  • The dead body has to be transported in a leak-proof plastic body bag with its exterior decontaminated with a 1 percent hypochlorite.
  • Embalming the dead body and autopsies should be avoided.
  • The Crematorium or Burial Ground staff should be sensitised that Covid-19 does not pose additional risk.2.
  • The staff will practice standard precautions of hand hygiene, use of masks and gloves.
  • Large gathering at the crematorium/burial ground should be avoided
  • Viewing of the dead body by unzipping the face end of the body bag (by the staff using standard precautions) may be allowed, for the relatives to see the body for one last time.
  • Religious rituals that do not require touching of the body are allowed such as reading from holy books or scriptures, sprinkling holy water, and other last rites. However, bathing, kissing and hugging of the dead body will be prohibited.
  • The funeral or burial staff and family members should perform hand hygiene after cremation or burial.
  • The ash does not pose any risk and can be collected to perform the last rites.

Read the complete guidelines on COVID-19 dead body management released by the Government of India

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