The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation commissioner Praveen Pardeshi today issued a directive mandating cremation of dead bodies of Coronavirus patients regardless of their religion as one of the containment measures to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus in Mumbai.
In a circular issued regarding the “Disposal of Dead bodies of Covid-19”, the city civic body decreed that all those who have died of COVID-19 will be cremated irrespective of their religion, strongly advising against following the rituals that entail touching of the dead body. The edict read that the order was taken after it was brought to the notice of Commissioner Pardeshi that all the burial grounds in the city were located in highly dense localities with a high risk of contamination of dense community/residential areas in the vicinity.
In addition, the circular also highlighted that the burial of a body packed in a plastic bag delays early decomposition of the body and poses a threat of further transmission of the virus. The notice called upon the Assistant Commissioners to inform about the same to local leaders, adding that the funeral for the deceased should not involve more than 5 people.
It also instructed the hospital authority to inform the local police station before handing over the body to the relatives, contingent upon the confirmation received from the family members of abiding by the above instructions.
The notice also added that if someone is insistent on burying the dead body of a COVID-19 patient, he will be permitted only if the dead body is taken out of the Mumbai city’s jurisdiction in a burial ground and transport and other arrangements are made by the same person, following all the mandated guidelines and advised precautions as given for the disposal of dead bodies of Covid-19 patients.
However, as expected, the circular seem to have been withdrawn after the outrage of ‘secular’ alliances of Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. NCP leader and Minority minister of Maharashtra, Nawab Malik tweeted about the same.
This is to bring to your kind attention that I have spoken to @mybmc Commissioner Mr. Praveen Pardeshi regarding the circular issued by him for cremation of those who have lost their lives due to the #CoronaVirus.— Nawab Malik نواب ملک नवाब मलिक (@nawabmalikncp) March 30, 2020
The said circular has now been withdrawn.
Nawab Malik wrote, “This is to bring to your kind attention that I have spoken to @mybmc Commissioner Mr. Praveen Pardeshi regarding the circular issued by him for cremation of those who have lost their lives due to the #CoronaVirus.”