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  • Dima Hasao District Administration appeals people to ensure dignity in death for Covid-19 patients:

    Published on October 14, 2020

    Ignorance and irrational fears obstructs corona virus funerals in Dima Hasao

    by Anup Biswas

    Haflong: There has been constant appeal from the district administration along with the civil society in Haflong, Dima Hasao, to douse the panic among people regarding performing of last rites due to the fear of catching the infection.

    Several meetings were convened with the Council Authorities, Apex Bodies, Gaon buras of different villages, line departments to discuss reasons for preventing the cremation and burial of people who died of COVID-19 shattering the dignity of the dead person.

    The guidelines issued for disposal of bodies of corona virus infected patients by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Directorate of Health Services, Govt of India and also the Assam Govt is based on the current epidemiological knowledge about the COVID-19.

    As communicate by Dr. Dipali Barman, Jt. Director Health Services, “Cadavers do not transmit disease and either cremation or burial are allowed as per the faith of the deceased”. Certain measures are however followed to ensure, ‘minimum touch’ with the body. Standard Precautions are to be followed by health care workers or the relatives while handling dead bodies of COVID such as hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment including gloves, masks etc, safe handling of sharps, disinfecting bag housing the body, and disinfecting linen covering it. Moreover staff engaged to do the duty is trained in the infection prevention control practices.

    Expressing his anguish over people protesting in performing last rites of a covid death patient, Dima Hasao DC, Paul Barua said, “By obstructing burials or cremations people are only denying the dignity in death because of irrational fears and misinformation”.  Strict action will be taken as per Disaster Management Act 2005 and CrPC against any individual or group who do not comply or try to resist in performing of last rites of the deceased due to Covid-19

    It has been clearly stated in the guideline that the body will be either handed over to the relatives or taken to mortuary. After all the necessary procedure at the hospital, body is disinfected with 1% Sodium Hypochlorite and placed in a body bag, the exterior of which is again decontaminated with 1% Sodium Hypochlorite solution

    All basic minimum standard precautions are followed by health workers while handling bodies.  As it is cleared that ash does not pose any risk and can be collected to perform the last rites, relative are allowed to collect the  ash of the deceased for any ritual as wished by the family members. Large gathering at the crematorium and burial ground is to be avoided as a social distancing measure as it is possible that close family contacts may be symptomatic or shedding the virus.

    As the district as already witnessed the death of seven persons till date and resentments are still seen among few sections of the people, the Deputy Commissioner has appealed to the people of Dima Hasao esp Haflong town to come to a common contentious about cremation ground or burial ground so that none of those who die of Covid -19 are degraded because of ignorance and heartlessness of a few.