Srinagar: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) Wednesday said that there was no evidence that anyone has contracted the virus from the exposure to bodies of Covid-19 patients.
In a statement issued here, a DAK spokesperson said that based on current evidence, coronavirus is transmitted between people through droplets, fomites and close contacts and is not airborne.
“Therefore a body does not pose any potential threat of spreading infection if standard protocols of infection control measures are followed,” the doctors’ body said.
DAK President Dr Suhail Naik said soon after death of coronavirus positive patient, the mouth and nasal orifices of the body should be plugged or sealed to prevent leakage of body fluids besides taking all other hospital infection control measures.
“The family members of deceased should be allowed to see body when removed from the isolation ward,” he said.
He said that the body should be covered in leak-proof plastic bag and its exterior side should be decontaminated. He said that the body, secured in a bag, exterior of which is decontaminated poses no additional risk to the staff transporting the body with 1% hypochlorite solution and can be even handed over to the relatives,” he said.
“The vehicle, after the transfer of the body to home should be decontaminated with 1% Sodium Hypochlorite,” Naik said.
He added that it was very imperative to understand that all the persons handling the body have to follow standard precautions and should wear surgical mask and hand gloves.
“At home, any person can be family member. Religious leader preparing the deceased should wear gloves to avoid any direct contact with the body. The clothing worn during the preparation of the body should be then immediately removed and washed or alternatively an apron or gown should be worn,” he said.
DAK said during these trying times it is their responsibility to maintain the dignity of the dead and their families should be respected not stigmatized.
DAK General Secretary Dr Owais Dar said viewing body by unzipping face end of the body bag may be allowed, for the relatives to see the deceased for one last time.
“Religious rituals such as reading from religious scripts, sprinkling holy water and any other last rites that does not require touching of the body can be allowed. Bathing, kissing, hugging, etc. of the dead body should not be allowed,” he said.
Dar said at burial ground people should understand that COVID 19 does not pose additional risk.
“The people can practice standard precautions of hand hygiene, use of masks and gloves and social distancing.”
DAK said children, elderly people, and anyone with underlying illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, or compromised immune systems, should not be involved in preparing the body.
It said during this whole process people are advised to follow the social distancing, hand washing, mask for all.
“If deceased falls in red zone area then it is mandatory for the people and relatives to religiously follow the laid down protocols for the described area,” the doctors’ body said.
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