No, dead bodies don't spread Coronavirus: AIIMS clears air after cremation controversy
"Coronavirus can not spread through dead bodies. It spreads from respiratory secretion. Coughing is necessary for the spread of this virus. So there is no risk in cremating the infected bodies, said Dr Randeep Guleria
New Delhi: With controversy being created over the cremation of the 68-year-old Delhi woman who passed away due to coronavirus infection following co-morbidity, doctors with AIIMS have attempted to clarify that there is no safety issues while cremation of bodies whose patients had succumbed to the disease
Clearing the air on the matter, Dr Randeep Guleria, Director of AIIMS said: "Coronavirus can not spread through dead bodies. It spreads from respiratory secretion. Coughing is necessary for the spread of this virus. So there is no risk in cremating the infected bodies."
The clarification came after some reports surfaced that there was a controversy over the cremation of the 68-year-old Delhi woman who passed away due to coronavirus infection following co-morbidity.
The staff from Delhi's two crematorium allegedly denied conducting the last rites, fearing that the virus might spread to other humans who come in contact with the deceased. Hence, the officials from Delhi Municipal Corporation and team of doctors had to be present during the last rites of the deceased.
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) forensic department has issued guidelines for handling any fatality that might be caused by COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry is also constituting guidelines for proper handling of deceased who die due to coronavirus.
The AIIMS doctors have clarified that the bodies cannot spread the virus.
"Cremation of the body of a person who had died due to coronavirus has no side effects by any methods using fire or electrical or gas..or by burial. In case of burial the above surface of the grave should be cemented," said Dr Sudhir Gupta, head of forensic medicine at AIIMS.
Health Ministry is also preparing guidelines to ensure no misinformation is spread out in case there is any casualty arising out of coronavirus- a disease which can be cured as well.
According to the senior official at the health ministry, "We are drafting guidelines to curtail any kind of misinformation and rumours regarding the spread of the infection from the deceased body. As of now, the country has reported only two casualties due to the COVID19. There should be no panic and fear among people and proper respect should be given a while handling a deceased. Hence, there should be awareness that disease does not spread from a dead body."
Doctors have been advising various preventive measures to contain the spread of coronavirus, a communicable disease that can spread from an infected person to another.