As Bodies Pile Up At Crematoriums, Delhi Govt Allows Use of Wood For Cremating COVID-19 Victims

Using wood for the cremation of bodies of patients was not permitted earlier citing fear of possible spread of the infection.

Delhi   |   29 May 2020 12:06 PM GMT
Writer : Navya Singh | Editor : Prateek Gautam | Creatives : Abhishek M
As Bodies Pile Up At Crematoriums, Delhi Govt Allows Use of Wood For Cremating COVID-19 Victims

Image Credit: Madhyamam

Four crematoriums run by the civic bodies in the national capital have begun using wood to conduct funerals of bodies of COVID-19 patients and those who are suspected to be infected with this virus.

This decisions comes as only two of the six CNG-run furnaces in Delhi are operational, and bodies of COIVD-19 patients started piling up with crematoriums returning them as they were unable to take the load.

Using wood for the cremation of bodies of patients was not permitted earlier citing fear of possible spread of the infection.

As per a Hindustan Times report, 108 bodies had piled up at the designated COVID-19 mortuary of the Lok Nayak hospital with as many as 28 bodies on the floor.

On Wednesday, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation ordered four crematoriums in Kardardooma, Nigambodh Ghat, Rani Jhansi Road and Punjabi Bagh to use wood for funeral rites.

At the Rani Jhansi crematorium, 15 bodies were cremated using wood until Thursday evening.

Sultan Singh, the in-charge of the crematorium, said, "We have just started dealing with Covid-19 cases. We allow only one member of the family near the body to light the pyre. Even that one relative has to wear mask and take other precautions. The priests handling such bodies also wear masks and gloves. Nobody opens the body that is wrapped in a personal protective equipment suit. It is directly kept on top of a pile of wood and covered for the final rites. There is no contact with the body."

Until Wednesday evening, bodies of COVID-19 patients and suspected patients were taken to the electric crematoriums at Nigambodh Ghat and Punjabi Bagh. Besides these, bodies are being sent to burial grounds in ITO, Mangolpuri, Madanpur Khadar and Shastri Park.

Dr Sudhir Gupta, professor and head of the department of forensic medicine and toxicology, AIIMS, said, "It is perfectly safe to dispose of the body through the wood-based method. The temperature maintained is the same as that of the CNG furnace. One must follow the guidelines that the government has issued such as not coming in contact with the body, wearing masks and gloves. The precautions that one adopts at the CNG furnace must be adopted in the wood-based system too."

The mayor of the North Delhi civic body, Avtar Singh, also called the processs safe.

Also Read: Himachal Pradesh BJP Chief Rajeev Bindal Resigns A Week After COVID-19 Medical Supply Purchase Scam

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