The Karnataka government has allowed cremation or burial of people who die of COVID-19 in the land or farm house owned by family members or relatives of the deceased, strictly adhering to protocol, said a government order, released late on Wednesday.
The guidelines issued detailed how the body of the deceased should be transported and how the cremation or burial should take place. The personnel in charge of transporting the body may follow standard precautions as wearing of surgical masks, gloves and aprons. Instructions shall be given to drivers of the transportation vehicle on handling the body in a dignified manner. The vehicle, after the transport, will be disinfected.
In case of inter-district or inter-state transportation of deceased patients of COVID-19 or those who are suspected to have died of COVID-19, the hospital or medical officer should issue death certificates in prescribed format along with test reports. The same precautions will be applicable if the body is transported by relatives and it is also advised that a health worker is present in the vehicle.
Employees working at the crematorium or burial ground should also be sensitised about the precautions needed for handling COVID-19 victims. Those who are in charge of placing the body of the victim in the grave or on the funeral pyre should wear a full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kit.
This is significant since cremations of COVID-19 patients were supervised by the state government until this order was issued.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) also issued a notification reserving 5 more crematoriums for COVID-19 victims along with the seven existing ones. The newly notified crematoriums are in Hebbal Kempapura, Kalahalli, Harishchandra Ghat, Wilsen Garden, and Mysore Road. This comes after long queues were reported in crematoriums in Bengaluru this week.
On Wednesday morning, the state government asked the district collectors in the state to look for lands where cremation of the victims of COVID-19 can be done.
On the same day, the state recorded its highest single-day rise with 23,558 new cases of COVID-19. There were also 116 deaths due to COVID-19 reported on Wednesday taking the total death toll in the state to 13,762.