Srinagar, July 17: Spike in number of COVID-19 deaths in Kashmir has once again brought to fore the ugly face of the pandemic as performing the last rites of dead has become a difficult task.
According to the media reports the people who are dying due to COVID-19 are being disposed of in bags and family members are not being even provided with a coffin to carry their loved ones. Officials are claiming that in the new guidelines there is no provision for providing a coffin to the dead.
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “Medicos and experts had predicted it long back that when COVID-19 peak arrives we will be put in a very difficult situation. It’s happening now. We are witnessing multiple deaths everyday. The unfortunate part is that the dead are not even getting a decent burial.”
He said, “One fails to understand why coffins have been deleted from the new guidelines. It’s difficult to carry a dead body without a coffin. Helmsmen should understand it.”
Recently, a COVID-19 patient died at SKIMS and when her family members demanded a coffin to carry her body they were denied the same. When issue snowballed into a major controversy, Medical Superintendent SKIMS in a statement said: “Here it needs to be made clear that coffin is nowhere in the protocol for handling COVID-19 dead bodies as laid down by ICMR instead the dead body has to be put in designated bodybag and outer surface of bodybag decontaminated by sodium hypochlorite. SKIMS did away with providing coffin because it is not a part of protocol and that it would require more people to handle deadbody which is again against protocol. Providing people for burial is not mandate of SKIMS.”
An observer said, “After the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic everything is about the protocol. The emergency patients who require medical aid are not provided any treatment till their COVID report comes. It’s also a part of the protocol.”
He said, “One can understand that everyone fears for his life and no one wants to take a risk and doctors and paramedical staff are no exceptions. It’s unfortunate that a message is being sent that bodies of COVID-19 victims have to be dumped.”
Recently, Doctors Association of Kashmir alleged that number of COVID-19 deaths in Kashmir are under reported and many people are not even visiting the hospital due to the stigma associated with the infection.