By Ranu Dutta
Silchar, July 27: With a view to dispel the misconceptions on the spread of virus from the mortal remains of a COVID-19 victim, the Cachar district administration held a meeting with religious leaders and other segments of society on Monday.
Convening a meeting at her office conference hall here, Deputy Commissioner, Keerthi Jalli said there is nothing to fear or panic once a COVID-19 patient succumbs to the disease and there are no chances of contamination spreading from such a dead body.
Seeking the cooperation of the religious leaders of Hindu and Muslim communities and people engaged in funeral service to dispel the wrong notions of virus spreading from a COVID-19 victim among the general public, Jalli said the victims must be given the last respects at the time of cremation or burial.
She appealed to everyone not to fall prey to the rumours and to spread the message loud and clear to dispel the misconceptions gaining ground.
The Deputy Commissioner also made it clear that national guidelines on how to handle dead bodies are being strictly adhered to. Currently, funerals are adhering to all religious rites by personnel who themselves are protected by PPE
Earlier, in the meeting Professor and Head, Department of Forensic Medicine, Silchar Medical College and Hospital, Dr Gunajit Das spoke about the guidelines issued by Govt of India on March 15 and the SoP by Govt of Assam on April 7 as to the disposal of dead body of a COVID victim. After death of a COVID patient, the body is properly disinfected with 1% sodium hypochlorite and all natural orifices as well as punctured areas are closed with cotton plug. Then the body is packed in a leak proof zipped body bag and after that again disinfected with hypochlorite solution and allowed to act for a minimum of 30 minutes. Thereafter the body is again packed and tied in another polythene sheet of 150 micron thickness and the exterior is again disinfected with hypochlorite solution. Once packed in this manner as prescribed in the guidelines already issued by Central as well as the State Governments, the chances of infection from the body to others almost becomes nil. “As aerosols are not produced by dead bodies, so chances of infection become almost nil if necessary precautions are taken care of by body handlers as suggested in the guidelines,” added Dr.Das.
Speaking on the occasion, Superintendent, Silchar Medical College and Hospital, Dr. Abhijit Swamy, said that as per the guidelines of the Central and State Governments, the bodies of the deceased were sent to cremation or burial grounds after proper sanitisation and multi-layered packing.
Dr. Swamy further said that the COVID-19 virus could not infect the body of a living person in any manner and there were no such instances.
Addressing the meeting, MP, Dr Rajdeep Roy while elaborating that the disease can be transmitted only through living cells and there is no precedent of anyone getting infected from a dead body of a corona victim, it is of paramount importance to dispel the misconceptions regarding disposing of bodies of COVID-19 victims.
MLA, Silchar, Dilip Pal said that one of the four crematories at the Silchar crematorium must be set aside solely for disposing of dead bodies of COVID victims.
All the participants in the meeting thanked the administration for convening the meeting and assured full support and cooperation in disposing of the dead bodies of COVID-19 victims with due religious rites.
Earlier, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Sumit Sattawan called on the heads of all religious leaders, political leaders and others to work together to dispel the misconceptions that surround the dead body of a corona victim.