KOLKATA: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on Wednesday said that ashes of persons who died of COVID-19 are respectfully kept in designated crematoriums and family members of the deceased can collect the same anytime.
According to protocol, family members of COVID-19 victims cannot attend the cremation and thus they are not able to collect the ashes at that time, said Atin Ghosh, a member of the KMC Board of Administrators.
"The authorities follow all the rituals while cremating a body in the presence of a priest.
The ashes are preserved in urns.
Family members of the diseased can collect the urn any day after cremation, even after 14 days of their quarantine period," Ghosh told PTI.
The KMC has two designated places where bodies of COVID-19 patients are consigned to flames.
One is Nimtala crematorium in north Kolkata while the other one is Dhapa crematorium in the eastern part of the city.
Family members can collect the ashes from the place where the body of the patient was cremated, said Ghosh, a former KMC deputy mayor.
While collecting the urn, a family member needs to furnish the death certificate and his or her own identity proof, he said.
If someone is deputed by the family to collect it, the person will have to carry an authorisation letter issued by a close relative of the deceased, apart from these two documents, Ghosh said.
Central government official Rangan Basu, who lost his father to COVID-19 around two months back, said he was not aware of the procedure of collecting ashes.
"We were all in quarantine.
I could not follow the rituals required at the crematorium.
Now I plan to go to Topsia and collect the urn.
We will take the advice of our family priest, as all other rituals are over," Basu said.