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Conduct last rites of COVID-19 suspects without waiting for test report: Odisha govt to Collectors

The Odisha government has instructed all district collectors, SPs, municipal commissioners and health officials to conduct the last rites of COVID-19 suspects without insisting on testing of swab or waiting for the report, an official said. The state government issued a letter on Monday after it was noticed that cremation of bodies was being delayed as officials waited for the corona test reports of the victim after his/her death, the official said.

In Ganjam district, the body of a policeman was allegedly abandoned at the hospital and nobody touched it because his corona test report was awaited.

It is clarified that as we are in the midst of a global pandemic, as a measure of abundant precaution, in all such cases the dead body may be disposed of as per COVID norms, in compassionate consultation with the family of the deceased,” Additional Chief Secretary of Health Department PK Mohapatra said in the letter to all district collectors and municipal corporation commissioners.

This will reduce the trauma faced by the grieving family, Mohapatra said, adding that henceforth there will be no delay in disposal of the body of the deceased after death.

In a few cases, persons with COVID-19 symptoms under treatment/ quarantine died before their swab can be tested for coronavirus. In such cases, the dead body may be disposed of as per the COVID norms without insisting on the test report.

The state government on July 25 had issued detailed guidelines for the disposal of bodies of COVID-19 patients, allowing family members to participate in the funeral, but they cannot touch the body. 

(With agency inputs)

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