Everyone who attends a coronavirus victim’s last rites will be quarantined: GB Nagar chief medical officer - Hindustan Times
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Everyone who attends a coronavirus victim’s last rites will be quarantined: GB Nagar chief medical officer

BySanjeev K Jha, Noida
Mar 15, 2020 12:20 AM IST

Gautam Budh Nagar district’s chief medical officer (CMO) said the quarantine process will be followed even while performing the last rites of a person who has died of the coronavirus infection.

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“Everyone who attends the last rites of a person who has died of Covid-19 will have to be quarantined for 14 days. Since dead bodies are more prone to spread the coronavirus, it is mandatory that every individual appearing in the cremation process must have a complete personal protective equipment (PPE) kit. It is mandatory that right from the persons lifting the dead body, to the priest and the kin who light the burial pyre, must have PPE kit, which include face shields, gloves, goggles and glasses, gowns, head covers, masks, respirators, and shoe covers,” Dr Anurag Bhargava, CMO, GB Nagar said.

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Dr Bhargava said the body of a coronavirus victim remains contaminated as the virus continues to remain in the body. “People who are handling the dead body of a coronavirus victim for the last rites are extremely vulnerable,” he said.

He also said that adapting such precautionary measures is not a new phenomenon. “Even during the Nipah outbreak few years ago, the same norms were followed. We often recommend that people have PPE kits while attending the last rites of hepatitis C and E victims as well,” he said.

Dr Bhargava said the quarantines are designed to prevent disease transmission by restricting the movements of suspected patients who have been, or might have been, exposed to a contagious pathogen until they come out of the window of this contagious disease. “N95 masks can provide protection if worn correctly. But for one and all, everyday good hygiene practices are the key to limiting the spread of Covid-19. We must wash our hands, avoid touching our face, regularly disinfect our mobile phones and surfaces of laptops, remote controls and other electronic gadgets, besides avoiding people who are sick, if possible,” he said.

The CMO however admitted that the coronavirus quarantine is not easy. “It amounts to two weeks of isolation for a disease you may not have. During that period, one needs to be entirely dependent on the service of others, protecting them from possible infection. Such a situation is never easy for the patient or the attendant,” he said.

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