COVID-19: Kejriwal government issues guidelines for 'better management' of victims' bodies

The order said if one dies at the hospital or is brought dead, the body should be sent to the mortuary within two hours and cremation or burial should be scheduled within 24 hours.

Published: 31st May 2020 11:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st May 2020 11:57 AM   |  A+A-

A view of a Mohalla Clinic at Pahar Ganj during the fourth phase of natiowide lockdown in New Delhi on Saturday. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav/EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: As morgues in the national capital are reportedly filled to their capacity due to a rise in coronavirus deaths, the health department of Delhi government on Saturday issued eight-point order for 'better management' of bodies of COVID-19 victims or suspected case of the contagion in its hospitals. 

The order said if one dies at the hospital or is brought dead, the body should be sent to the mortuary within two hours and cremation or burial should be scheduled within 24 hours in consultation with the concerned municipal corporation and the family or relatives if they contact the morgue within 12 hours of the death.

In case, the family members or relatives don't reach out to the mortuary themselves within 12 hours, they will be intimated about time, date, and place of cremation or burial through the area station house officer (SHO) in consultation with the civic agency to enable them to attend the last rites.

"The delivery of the intimation shall be ensured within 12 hours after receiving the message from the hospital....the hospital must fix date and time in such a manner that an effective notice of at least 24 hours available to the family and relatives," said the order issued by Padmini Singla, secretary, health and family welfare department.

For unidentified or abandoned bodies, the police have been directed to complete legal formalities within 72 hours and dispose the bodies within the next 24 hours according to the protocol.

ALSO READ | COVID-19: With morgue full, Delhi's RML hospital procures refrigerated container to store bodies

If the deceased is from outside Delhi, the hospital will contact the resident commissioner of the respective State or Union territory urging to respond within 48 hours. 

If the reply doesn't come, the hospital will go ahead with the cremation or burial within the next 24 hours.

"The responsibility of timely disposal of dead bodies of COVID 19 positive and suspect died at the hospital or brought dead at the hospital shall be of the medical director/ director of the hospital. Respective municipal corporations shall make all the arrangements to cremate/  burial of such dead bodies," said the order.

Incharge of the morgue shall report to the medical director or director of the hospital for disposal of bodies of COVID positive or suspect person, it further stated.

Meanwhile,  Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital, run by the Centre, has obtained a refrigerated container to store bodies as morgue attached to the facility is full due to coronavirus fatalities.

 On Wednesday, the civic bodies in the national capital allowed usage of wood for cremations of persons, who succumb to COVID 19 infection and also suspected case of the Coronavirus after mortal remains were piling at the mortuary of the Lok Nayak hospital.

Earlier, cremation only at CNG or electric crematorium was permitted for the fear of the possible spread of infection, which led to backlog due to their limited capacity. 


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