Delhi disallows testing dead bodies for Covid
The new standard operating procedures (SoP), issued Sunday, have to be followed for the disposal of the bodies of those who tested positive for the disease before death.
The Delhi government’s revised guidelines for the disposal of dead bodies of people with Covid-19 prohibit hospitals from collecting samples from the bodies.
The new standard operating procedures (SoP), issued Sunday, have to be followed for the disposal of the bodies of those who tested positive for the disease before death, a person whose sample had been collected before death and tested positive after, or for any person who died after being admitted to a hospital on suspicion of having the viral infection.
“No sample for Covid-19 test will be taken of a dead body. However, if doctors are satisfied from clinical examination that the cause of death may be Covid-19 infection, the dead body may be released as suspect Covid-19 infected dead body,” the order, issued by Delhi’s health secretary Padmini Singla, read.
So far, Covid-19 designated hospitals were testing those brought dead to the hospital and suspected to have the infection, before releasing the body.
The move is expected to help conserve testing kits.
Recently, the Union ministry of health changed the country’s discharge policy for Covid-19 patients to allow those with mild to moderate symptoms to go back home without two negative tests, which were earlier required for a discharge.
Only one negative swab test is required for those with severe infection, according to the revised guidelines.
The Delhi guidelines on disposing of dead bodies mentions four scenarios: when the death happens in a hospital, if the death happens in other government isolation facilities for mild cases, if the death happens outside of these health care facilities, or if there is an unclaimed body or a body found in a public space.
The SoPs state that in case if a person dies in a hospital or is brought dead to one, trained health care workers will have to handle and pack the body and provide a hearse van to carry the body to cremation or burial ground. After burial or cremation, the hearse van has to be properly disinfected. In case there are no relatives of the deceased, the body needs to be properly disinfected and kept in the mortuary; the hospital can decide if an autopsy is required.