Kerala

Revised guidelines for last rites of COVID-19 bodies

For representational purpose only.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Health Department has again revised the guidelines regarding the management of the bodies of those who died of COVID-19, in line with the Union Health Ministry’s guidelines, so that the close relatives can see the deceased at the isolation ward, mortuary and the place of burial.

The guidelines have been so amended that by maintaining all COVID protocols strictly, close family members of the deceased can perform the very essential local as well as religious rites as required.

If the family so desires, one member would be allowed inside the room where the health workers are prepping the body and to symbolically sprinkle ‘holy water’ or cover the body with a cloth. However, none will be allowed to touch, or hug the body . After prepping the body, close relatives will be allowed to see the deceased inside the isolation room or in the mortuary.

At the burial grounds, the relatives will be allowed to see just the face of the deceased by opening the zip on the body bag. At this point also, necessary religious rituals or prayers may be performed. A maximum of 20 persons can participate in the funeral and physical distance should be maintained. Those above 60 years, children less than 10 years or those with serious co-morbidities including respiratory problems should not participate in the funeral.

The Health Department has directed hospitals to release the bodies of those whom are brought dead including suspected COVID deaths without any delay , after collecting the test samples. All bodies, unless confirmed through lab tests as COVID negative, should be treated as COVID deaths and released as per guidelines.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 1:53:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/revised-guidelines-for-last-rites-of-covid-19-bodies/article33178082.ece

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