PMC reserves two crematoriums for bodies of Covid victims, installs mortuary to tackle rush
According to the PMC, the aim of an extra mortuary is that ambulances would not need to wait to unload the body. They can drop the body at the mortuary and immediately rush for the next callUpdated: Jul 05, 2020 16:16 IST
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has reserved only two crematoriums – one at Sangamwadi and another at Yerawada for final rites of patients dying due to the Covid-19 infection while allowing non-covid bodies to be cremated at other crematoriums. However, this has led to an increase in wait time for ambulances transporting the bodies.
In a quest to avoid the delay, the PMC has now reserved a mortuary at Kailash Crematorium near Sangamwadi.
Earlier, the civic body reserved six of the 21 crematoriums for the cremation of Covid-19 bodies. However, the PMC faced a staff crunch and decided to keep only two crematoriums.
As of Friday, the Pune death toll due to Covid-19 infection reached 685 with 19,849 progressive positive cases.
PMC electric department chief Shrinivas Kandul, who is also co-ordinating the cremations, said, “As the Covid-19 deaths are increasing in the city, sometimes there is a queue outside the Kailash and Yerawada crematorium for performing final rites on dead bodies. As the ambulances are stuck at the crematorium, hospitals keep calling the driver to transport the next body. To avoid all this trouble, PMC has now fixed a mortuary at Kailash crematorium. Four dead bodies can be placed in this mortuary at a given time.”
According to Kandul, the PMC also planned to keep the mortuary at Yerawada crematorium for the next few days.
“PMC allotted six ambulances only for transporting Covid-19 bodies to the crematorium,” he said.
According to the PMC, the aim of an extra mortuary is that ambulances would not need to wait to unload the body. They can drop the body at the mortuary and immediately rush for the next call.
The PMC officials said the decision to bring down reserved crematoriums from six to two was because civic staff had to use gas crematoriums for final rites and there were some difficulties as gas crematoriums are managed by a private contractor. Also, there was a manpower shortage issue. Due to panic and fear, PMC employees were not ready to perform the final rites, said another civic official.
In order to streamline this work effectively, PMC has now only kept two crematoriums for performing final rites. There are three working shifts and in each shift, four employees remain present for duty. Both Kailash and Yerawada crematoriums are in close proximity to many Covid-care hospitals.
Kandul said that he instructed ambulances to avoid going to the vehicle depo, but return to the hospital from where they get a call.
“They should stop near Kailash crematorium as it would help to decrease their travel time,” he said.