Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], Aug 7 (ANI): Amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Karnataka, the state's health department issued fresh guidelines for the disposal of bodies of COVID patients.
"Although an increased risk of COVID infection from a dead body to health workers or family members who follow standard precautions while handling the body is unlikely, the lack of scientific data requires the utmost care to avoid the inadvertent spread of COVID-19 during these times," the statement from the health department's press release read, emphasising on the dignity of the dead and the religious and cultural tradition.
The 23-page press release elaborated on guidelines regarding testing, handling of dead bodies and other specificities in relation to the management of COVID-19 bodies.
"Testing should not be insisted in every case of death, but only when they have a recorded history of influenza-like symptoms. The body should be handed over to the family members/ relatives in a dignified manner immediately after swab collection and hospitals should provide handouts with a list of dos and don'ts in English and Kannada laying down relevant information," the statement said.
It added, "At the mortuary, health care workers, mortuary staff and the family of the deceased body shall not come in direct contact with the dead body and must wear full personal protective equipment (PPE). If the family or relative are for any reason unable to cremate or bury the body, the local health authority shall arrange for the dignified last rites as per the religious traditions of the family."
Regarding autopsies (post mortem) on COVID-19 bodies, the state department said that they should be avoided, except in necessary circumstances.
The statement also gave detailed guidelines regarding the appropriate recording of COVID-19 deaths in line with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines.
Additionally, the health department made a statement about the admission procedure for COVID positive patients referred by other district administrations saying, "It is now mandatory for all the referrals from the BBMP admission and discharge of COVID positive patients to be done through the online COVID Hospital Bed Management System (CHBMS)."
The state's count of coronavirus cases was 1,51,449 in the past 24 hours.
So far, a total of 2,804 people have died due to COVID-19 in the state, while the average recovery rate in Karnataka is 49.3 per cent. (ANI)