The Tamil Nadu Government has asked the people not to stop cremation or burial of victims of Covid disease under the mistaken notion that the bodies emit virus.
There is no such possibility as all precautions are taken as per guidelines, it has said in advertisement in dailies following two incidents in close succession in Chennai in which violent mobs chased two ambulances carrying two deceased doctors from chosen crematoria.
In the first incident, the body of a Nellore surgeon was not allowed to be buried in a crematorium in Ambattur on outskirts of Chennai. After hours of search, the body was cremated in another ground.
Early this week the same thing happened to Dr Simon Hercules, a neurologist, when his body was not allowed to be cremated in their family vault in Kilpauk crematorium. A local mob stoned the ambulance and inflicted bleeding injuries on driver other staff accompanying the body Finally Dr Simon was laid to rest in another burial ground in New Avadi Road.
While police have registered cases against 21 persons but no arrests have been made as mere penal action will not dispel wrong fears about the disease in the minds of ill-informed people.
The government has, therefore, come out with an advertisement to educate the people. It has listed infection control measures taken before disposing of the dead.
It said:" The body is tightly packed in a plastic bag. The inner and outer surface of the bags is disinfected."
Further all clothes of deceased are removed and safely disposed of. Relatives are not allowed to touch the body.
Last rites are performed without touching the body.
The safely packed body is taken in a disinfected mortuary van to the burial ground. Smoke and ash coming from the body after crematorium will not infect anybody it said.
With such precautions in place, there is no possibility of the body spreading infection. Therefore there is no need for people' living near cremation or burial ground to panic, the government said.