The Kerala government has newly revised the protocol for the cremation/burial of deceased COVID-19 patients in the state. According to the new rules, the kin of the deceased can perform necessary last religious rituals. The kin can also see the deceased at the isolation wards, mortuary and funeral place, Health Minister KK Shailaja said in the revised protocol released on Wednesday.A close relative will be allowed, on request, to enter the room where the deceased is cleaned by health workers. The relative will also be allowed to cover the body with a white cloth, and sprinkle holy water, in accordance with their beliefs.
However, the relative will not be allowed to touch, bath, kiss or embrace the body at any cost, said the press statement. Once the body is cleaned, close kin will be allowed to see it at the isolation ward, and at the mortuary too, if requested.
Sprinkling of holy water and chanting of prayers will be allowed at the funeral place, according to the new protocol. Health workers will remove the cover on the corpseās face for this. Last rites will also be allowed to be performed, without touching the body.
A maximum of 20 people will be allowed to attend the cremation/burial, while following physical distancing rules. However, the rule that elderly people above 60 years and children below 10 years, and those with comorbidities including pulmonary issues should not attend the funeral will persist. The guidelines given by the Health Department must be strictly followed, according to the protocol.
The revised protocol is also in lines with the guidelines of the Union Health Ministry, said Health Minister KK Shailaja.
The previous revision made to this protocol was in October, and it stated that relatives of the deceased would be allowed to have a last glimpse of the deceased face before the final rites.
Kerala on Tuesday reported 5,420 Covid-19 cases. With this, the cumulative case load of the state has reached to 5,71,872 cases.