No risk of Covid infection from body, claims DAK

Srinagar: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Wednesday claimed that there was no risk to catch the infection from the bodies of person, who die from the novel Coronavirus, as long as standard precautions were followed.

”Cadavers do not transmit disease,” DAK president Dr Nisar ul Hassan said in a statement issued here on Wednesday.

He said there was no evidence of a person being infected from the exposure to corpse who died from Coronavirus.

Dr Hassan said 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.

He said the virus doesn’t survive in the human body after death.

The DAK president said that health care workers and family members should be sensitised that dead people cannot spread the novel virus and there is no reason to worry as long as standard precautions are followed. ”For healthcare workers, mortuary staff and others handling bodies, these standard precautions involve wearing PPE,” he said.

He said for family members, the precautions involve not touching the body, wearing basic protective gear and not gathering in groups to pray. ”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 off. Clothing and other fabric should be washed with water and detergent,” he said.

Dr Hassan 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, adding that burials should take place in a timely manner, in accordance with local practices.

However, he said the number of attendees in funeral should be restricted, so that social distancing measures could be followed among the individuals. ”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,” he added.