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Over 400 funerals performed under Covid SOP, govt seeks details from civic bodies

“It is requested that copies of register having details of such cremations/burials of Covid-related deaths (positive and suspect), along with supporting documents like lab reports, doctor’s certificate etc, may be sent to this department...,” said the letter.

Written by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi | May 20, 2020 3:48:42 am
At ITO graveyard, one of the sites reserved for burials as per Covid SOP. Abhinav Saha

The Delhi government’s Health and Family Welfare Department has written to the civic bodies seeking details of cremations and burials carried out under the Covid SOP.

In a letter last week from Delhi Health Secretary Padmini Singla to the commissioner of the North and South MCDs, the department said it requires details of cremations and burials done at Nigambodh Ghat and Punjabi Bagh crematoriums, and ITO graveyard of Covid-19 related deaths, urgently.

These three places are among the burial and cremation sites reserved by the MCDs for performing last rites as per the standard operating procedure (SOP) for Covid-19 deaths.

“It is requested that copies of register having details of such cremations/burials of Covid-related deaths (positive and suspect), along with supporting documents like lab reports, doctor’s certificate etc, may be sent to this department…,” said the letter.

Sources in the MCD said a reply has been sent to the Delhi government.

On May 14, The Indian Express had reported that as per data provided by the standing committee of the North body and the South MCD, the capital has carried out 410 funerals as per the SOP for Covid patients. Delhi had, until then, recorded 106 Covid deaths. Officials and doctors had said a body being cremated or buried in adherence to the Covid SOP, laid down by the ICMR, may not necessarily mean the person had the virus or died of the disease.

The Delhi government meanwhile also warned all hospitals of action if they fail to report Covid-19 deaths in a time-bound manner. “It has been observed that… healthcare facilities in Delhi are not timely reporting deaths of Covid-19 positive patients as per SOPs circulated. Violation of the order shall invite strict action… without further notice,” said the order issued by Singla.

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