Delhi Announces Rules on Treatment of Coronavirus Death Remains – News from India

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Guidelines for handling bodies of patients who died of the coronavirus disease have been issued.

The Delhi government has notified guidelines for the treatment of the bodies of patients who have died of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

The notice, issued late Wednesday under the Epidemics Act of 1897, implies that legal action can be taken against those who do not follow the guidelines.

Delhi has so far reported 36 positive Covid-19 cases and one death.

The guidelines say that when a Covid-19 patient dies in hospital, trained staff will pack, disinfect and store it in the morgue. The body will be transported by morgue, accompanied by medical personnel, to the crematorium or cemetery.

The hearing aid must be disinfected after the last rites have been performed. The hospital where the Covid-19 patient dies may also decide whether or not to have an autopsy.

There was confusion over a patient who died in Delhi on Tuesday. The Union Health Ministry website initially cited the case of the 60-year-old as the second Delhi coronavirus death, but it was later clarified that he did not die from Covid-19.

“In the case of the person … the Covid-19 confirmatory test turned negative … But we asked the family members of the deceased to maintain a certain social distance as a precaution,” said a hospital official on condition of anonymity.

The notice also outlines protocols in case a Covid-19 patient dies at home. To be sure, patients identified as having a fatal infectious disease are treated at state-run isolation facilities. It was not immediately clear whether the guidelines referred to suspicious patients (or who they were) in this case.

The guidelines say relatives of the deceased should immediately notify the district judge who will then notify either Lok Nayak Hospital or Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital.

Hospitals will provide trained staff for packaging, disinfection and body handling. The hospital will also provide a hearing carriage to transport the body to the crematorium or cemetery.

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