COVID-19: 68-yr-old victim cremated under medical supervision in Delhi

Randeep Guleria, director of AIIMS said coughing is necessary for the spread of this virus, so there is no risk in cremating the infected bodies

Coronavirus outbreak, coronavirus, cremation, medical supervision, COVID-19
Reports say the LNJP hospital is currently recording almost twice the number of ICU patients because of the rising pollution. Photo for representational purpose only

Cremation of the 68-year-old woman, who died in the national capital after being infected with coronavirus, was performed on Saturday (March 14) at the CNG crematorium at Nigambodh ghat in New Delhi under supervision of medical authorities.

Doctors from the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital in New Delhi and from MCD oversaw the funeral after the crematorium staff reached out to the authorities seeking directives on ensuring that the infection didn’t spread from the body.

Officials said the Nigambodh Ghat Sanchalan Samiti, which manages the operations at the crematorium, delayed the last rites by a few hours and approached municipal authorities to seek directives in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

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“The situation is sensitive across the world. We had to seek instructions first from MCD and medical authorities. They said the cremation will be done using CNG and the officials have come to supervise the process,” Suman Gupta of the Samiti said.

However, Randeep Guleria, director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) told ANI that the coronavirus cannot spread through dead bodies as it transfers through respiratory secretion.

Coughing is necessary for the spread of this virus, so there is no risk in cremating the infected bodies, he added.

India reported its second casualty due to coronavirus on Friday with the Union Health Ministry confirming the death of the woman who had tested positive for the contagious viral disease after coming in contact with her son who also acquired coronavirus after travelling abroad recently.

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The death was caused due to comorbidity (diabetes and hypertension), the ministry said, adding that she had tested positive for COVID-19 following which she was admitted to the RML hospital.

The woman, a resident of west Delhi, became the second person to die of novel coronavirus infection in the country. The first and only other COVID-19 casualty so far was a 76-year-old man in Karnataka who died on March 10. He had recently returned from Saudi Arabia.

The second victim came in contact with her son, who became the fifth coronavirus case in Delhi after travelling to Switzerland and Italy between February 5 and 22.

“She had history of contact with a positive case. The son had returned to India on February 23. He initially was asymptomatic, but developed fever and cough after one day and reported to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital on March 7,” a Health Ministry statement said.

(With inputs from agencies)