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Saturday 6 June 2020

Crematorium refuses to accept COVID victim

Before the fuss at the crematorium, there was confusion in the hospital that was not sure if a protocol applied to the body of a COVID victim

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The body of a 68-year-old elderly woman who had died on Friday night due to exposure to coronavirus was cremated at Nigam Bodh Ghat in Delhi on Saturday afternoon after much ado. Earlier in the morning, when the body of the woman reached the crematorium, the family was stopped from performing the last rites.

The body of the woman was later cremated following the intervention of the authorities. A team of doctors had to persuade the crematorium officials that the act of burning the corpse would not spread the virus by air.

Before this, the local police had issued a statement that the last rites of the women would be performed using CNG at Nigam Bodh Ghat. Public Health Officer of North Delhi Municipal Corporation Dr Ashok Rawat reached the spot to convince the crematorium officials.

The Directorate General of Health Services of the Health Department said that the body could be cremated only under its vigilance if the death occurred due to coronavirus, but there was no risk of infection from it. According to the DG of Health, it made no difference if the crematorium used electricity, CNG or wood for the cremation.

The body that led to such a fuss at the crematorium was of the mother of a resident of Delhi’s Janakpuri area who had returned from Italy and Switzerland and was found to be infected with COVID (coronavirus disease). Nine members of the family were isolated. Their 68-year-old mother later succumbed to it.

The woman was admitted to the RML Hospital a week ago. She was diagnosed with sugar and pneumonia during treatment. She died on Friday night. Before the fuss at the crematorium, there was a fracas in the hospital whose authorities were not sure whether a different set of formalities or protocol was involved in handing over the body of a COVID victim. The hospital even tried to contact Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to get these details.

  • So far 6 patients of COVID have surfaced in Delhi
  • More than 5,000 people have died of the disease across the world
  • It has been declared an epidemic in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana
  • Schools, colleges and cinema halls have been closed in Delhi and Haryana till 31 March and Uttar Pradesh till 22 March
  • The central government has ordered masks and hand sanitisers to be placed under the Essential Commodities Act until 30 June to stop black marketing and surge pricing.
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