Saturday, 19 June, 2021
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Risk of COVID-19 spread high as family members compelled to managing dead bodies



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Cremation of a people's representative of Nalagadh Municipality who died of COVID-19 being done as per the Hindu rites by the people themselves without adhering to health safety protocols, which has heightened risk of spread of the virus. (Photo: Hemant KC/RSS)

Rolpa, May 18: People here in the district are fearful of increased risk of spread of coronavirus infection after the family members themselves have started managing the bodies of their dear ones died of COVID-19 of late.

This situation has arisen after the delay in managing the bodies of the victims of Covid-19 on the part of the government agencies responsible for this.

A Covid-19 patient from the district headquarters who was admitted to the Rolpa Hospital died on the way while being taken to another hospital out of the district for advanced treatment. The family members of the victim took the body to hospital. But the government bodies concerned did not show any concern and ultimately the family members of the deceased themselves had to manage the body.

Similarly, the family members of a man from local Sunil Smriti rural municipality-4 who died from Covid-19 few days back had to themselves manage the dead body..

The number of people succumbing to the coronavirus infection is on the increase in the district. The District Administration Office, Rolpa said seven persons have died of the pandemic in the district so far.

It is said the family members themselves have managed most of the dead bodies of the victims. The risk of contracting the infection has increased due to this and as it is a social custom and responsibility for the kith and kin, and neighbours to attend the funeral rites thereby resulting in gatherings.

"The family members of the person died due to Covid-19 managing the dead body has increased the risk of spread of the disease," said Binod Acharya of Rolpa Municipality-4, who himself recently attended the funeral rites of his neighbour who died of the coronavirus infection.

Dhanraj Dangi of rolpa Municipality-4, who participated in the last rites of one of his relative who died of Covid-19, said they waited for more than an hour for the arrival of the Army team that is responsible for managing dead bodies of Covid-19 victims, and they had to themselves manage the body as the Army team failed to show up.

Chief District Officer Nawaraj Sapkota said the Army squad is sent for managing the dead bodies of the Covid-19 victims once the hospital calls for one through coordination of the victim's relatives and the hospital. "The Army team is not sent until the hospital confirms that the person has died of Covid," he said.

According to him, although it was the policy during the first wave of the pandemic that all the bodies of the Covid-19 victims should be managed by the Nepali Army, the rule during the second wave of the pandemic is that the bodies could be given to the family members of the victims if they wanted to cremate or bury the body themselves.