Bhubaneswar: At a difficult time when many family members are not willing to receive and come forward to cremate the bodies of their kin meeting death due to COVID-19 pandemic the designated team of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) is conducting the cremation of the bodies in accordance with the standard operating procedure (SOP) by the Centre and State Government.
The real-life COVID warriors from BMC have so far helped in cremating 161 bodies creating a record sort of things as the bodies include local hospital deaths, from the nearby hospitals and from other districts and other states where the cremation process as per the COVID protocol could not be met.
These deaths also include suspected cases in which people have died even prior to any tests as they arrive in critical cases at city hospitals or other district-level health-care facilities.
The team is dedicatedly doing their noble job to receive, transport and conduct cremation of the bodies in conformity with the COVID-19 Dead Body Management Guidelines issued by the Government of India. This is done in compassionate consultation with the family members of the deceased and the entire process is done free of cost.
While Purandar Nanda, Deputy Commissioner BMC, is leading the cremation team which also includes a medical officer from Capital Hospital Bhubaneswar, an engineer from BMC, representative of IIC of Kharavel Nagar and representatives from other police stations from where the death is reported, Deputy Commissioner BMC, Srimanta Mishra, is the Supervising Official for the entire operation.
The process of the cremation of the deceased happens like this: After the death of the person in any COVID hospital or other healthcare facility a report comes to BMC official mail. After the mail arrives, the relatives of the deceased are informed to give consent for cremation. If the person can be contacted over phone, it can be collected directly or if the person is not traceable then the consent is obtained through the district administration.
BMC Commissioner then issues an office order to form a team in which medical doctor, administrative officers, police representatives and engineer as members are included to oversee the operation. After this step the hearse arrives from Capital Hospital to the place where the body is kept. If the body is inside the morgue of the Capital Hospital, the body is taken from there to Satyanagar cremation ground so that the family members could show the last respect.
It can be mentioned here that people from all religious groups also get the opportunity to cremate the body of their kin as per the religious beliefs of their community. The Hindu families also do get an opportunity to collect the ‘’asthi’’ or bone for religious purposes.
The scientific burial of the bodies at the Satyanagar Crematorium Ground by BMC has set an example for others and the team is also trying to brief the district level teams to learn the lessons as per the COVID-19 guidelines.