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Published On: Mon, Mar 30th, 2020

BMC: COVID-19 dead cremation, allows burial with conditions in Mumbai

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A picture taken on March 25, 2020, shows the burial of a victim of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the Moroccan city of Marrakech. (Photo by - / AFP)

A picture taken on March 25, 2020, shows the burial of a victim of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the Moroccan city of Marrakech. (Photo by – / AFP)

MUMBAI: Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai on Monday (March 30) issued a circular for disposal of dead bodies of coronavirus COVID-19, but later withdrew it. Commissioner of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) earlier stated that all bodies of COVID-19 patients should be cremated irrespective of religion.
The circular was reportedly quashed on Maharashtra Minority Development Minister Nawab Malik’s intervention. “Burial will not be allowed. The funeral should not involve more than 5 people,” the order said. The Commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai was empowered by the state government to take such measures as are necessary to prevent the outbreak of COVID-19 or spread thereof within his respective jurisdiction.
BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi earlier said, “All the dead bodies of COVID-19 patients should be cremated at the nearest crematorium irrespective of religion. The rituals involving touching the body should be avoided.”
He said that “This is done in respect of community leaders who have brought to my notice that existing burial grounds are in a highly dense locality with high chances of contamination of dense community / residential areas nearby.”
“Further procedure of packaging the body in a plastic bag and burying the same prevents early decomposition and risk continuing the virus for future spread. Hence, all the COVID-19 dead bodies should be cremated to avoid transmission chances in the community. Burial should not be allowed,” the BMC Commissioner’s circular stated.
He also added that the hospital authority should inform to the local police station and then hand over the body after confirmation of the above, adding “The cemetery staff should cremate these bodies using protective equipments for e.g. Masks, Gloves, etc.”

“If someone insists to bury a dead body, he will be permitted only if the dead body is taken out of Mumbai city’s jurisdiction in a burial ground and transport and other arrangements are made by the concerned on their own following all the guidelines and precautions as given for disposal of dead bodies of Covid-19,” the circular stated.

Notably, a total of 39 people in Maharashtra have been discharged from hospitals so far after recovering from the novel coronavirus infection, including 14 in Mumbai, according to a PTI report citing a health official.(Zeenews).

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