Bhubaneswar: The Government of Odisha on Saturday issued a guideline for disposal of bodies of Covid-19 suspected and confirmed cases, respecting the religious sentiments of the people and religious beliefs of different sects.
The Special relief Commissioner Pradeep Jena has issued a notification in this regard.
As per the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), the body is to be placed in a leak-proof plastic bag, exterior of the body bag decontaminated with 1% hypochlorite, wrapped with a mortuary sheet or the sheet provided by the family members and handed over to the relative of the d”eceased for cremation/ burial. The family member(s) of the patient are allowed to view the body at’the time of removal from the isolation room or area with the application of standard precautions. Religious rituals, such as reading from religious scripts, sprinkling of holy water and any other last rites that does not require touching of the body can be allowed. The ash also can be collected to perform the last rites. All these are to be performed including transportation of the body following due precautions and hygienic procedures.
The details of the guidelines issued by Odisha government are as follows:
1. If family member(s) of the patient wish(es) to view the body at the time of removal from the isolation room or area, they may be allowed to do so with the application of standard precautions
2. The dead body shall be handled and transported in a decent manner.
3. While disposing the dead body at the crematorium/ burial ground, the family members may be allowed to perform the last rites according to their religion/ faith without touching the body, maintaining minimum safe distance from the body and following standard hygienic precautions, such as hand hygiene, use of mask & gloves, no spitting in public place.
4. Bathing, kissing, hugging, ete. of the body are strictly prohibited.
5. The family members may be allowed to collect the ash after cremation for performance of last rites.
6. Not more than 20 persons shall be allowed in the funeral function including the priest and member(s), support agency(ies), if any.
7. However, if the family members do not wish to take paft in cremation/ burial of the dead body of the Covid-19 suspect/ confirmed case, the dead body may be disposed of in their absence following the method of disposal, such as cremation or burial, as per custom of the religion/ sect to which the person belonged to. If the religion/ sect of the person is not known, either of the procedure may be followed for disposal of the dead body.
8. All other conditions contained in the *COVID-I9: GUIDELINES ON DEAD BODY MANAGEMENT” issued by the MoHFW shall be followed mutatis mutandis for disposal of the dead body of the Covid-19 suspect confirmed cases.