Coronavirus Outbreak: BMC chief's order to strictly cremate bodies withdrawn

Updated: Mar 31, 2020, 08:30 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon, Chetna Sadadekar | Mumbai

Civic chief had earlier advised only cremation of victims of Corona in order to avoid spread of infection

The civic body had advised the use of electric or gas crematoriums to prevent contamination of the soil
The civic body had advised the use of electric or gas crematoriums to prevent contamination of the soil

The civic chief's order to strictly cremate bodies of Covid-19 victims was withdrawn on Monday evening after NCP leader and state minority affairs minister Nawab Malik intervened. Malik announced this in a tweet last evening.

The decision to cremate was earlier taken by the civic chief in order to avoid the spread of coronavirus after burial.

In order to curb any spread of Covid-19 from the mortal remains of a deceased, the civic commissioner had passed an order on Monday stating that bodies of anyone who succumbed to Coronavirus must only be cremated, irrespective of their religion.

The decision was taken under the Epidemic Disease Regulation for Prevention and Containment Act. In places where burial grounds are available away from residential areas, people can continue burying the deceased while following the strict norms laid down.

"In case the burial ground is full and relatives cannot take the body to far-off locations, they need to cremate the body at the nearest crematorium by using an electric or gas cremation facility. This is done with an intent to avoid any contamination of soil," civic chief Praveen Pardeshi had said.

"Rituals that involve touching the body should be avoided. This is done after a community leader brought to my notice that existing burial grounds are in highly dense localities with high chances of contamination," he added.

It will be the responsibility of the local ward officers to communicate this to local leaders, the order had said.

When a body is packed in a plastic body before burying, it prevents early decomposition and increases the risk of keeping the virus alive for future spread. Also, "the funeral should not involve more than five people," the order states.

If someone insists on burial, it must be done at a burial ground that is large enough to not create any possibility of spread of virus in the neighbouring areas., the order said. Also, all the arrangements for it must be made by the person concerned and all precautions are taken.

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