Srinagar: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Wednesday said there is no risk to catch the infection from the bodies of persons who die from the novel coronavirus.
“Cadavers do not transmit disease,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
“There is no evidence of a person being infected from the exposure to corpse who died from coronavirus,” he said. Dr Nisar the main driver of transmission of COVID-19 is through respiratory droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
“There is no chance of spread of infection from a dead person. The dead person won’t cough or sneeze,” he said.
“The virus doesn’t survive in the human body after death,” he added.
Dr Nisar said health care workers and family members should be sensitized that dead people cannot spread the novel virus and there is no reason to worry as long as standard precautions are followed.
“For health care workers, mortuary staff and others handling bodies, these standard precautions involve wearing PPE,” he said. “For family members, they involve not touching the body, wearing basic protective gear and not gathering in groups to pray,” he added.
Dr Nisar said persons preparing the deceased for burial should follow recommended standard protocols.
“The belongings of the deceased do not need to be burned or otherwise disposed of. Clothing and other fabric should be washed with water and detergent,” he said.
Dr Nisar said family and friends may view the body after it has been prepared for burial in accordance with custom.
“Religious rituals such as reading from religious scripts and any other religious rites should be allowed,” he said.
Dr Nisar said burials should take place in a timely manner, in accordance with local practices.
“However, the number of attendees in funeral should be restricted, so that social distancing measures could be followed among the individuals,” he said.
“While authorities should see to it that standard precautions are followed, they should also ensure that dignity of dead bodies is respected according to their cultural and religious traditions,” said Dr Nisar.