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Patna: Study suggests ways to safely handle Covid victims’ bodies

PATNA: A team of medical researchers led by a doctor of the AIIMS-Patna has come out with a comprehensive protocol for handling the bodies and other wastes of the people who die due to the Covid-19.

The report recommended sealing of all open parts like mouth and nose and also other parts which were punctured as part of treatment.

The research was published in the international journal, ‘Bio Protocol’, on October 20. The research team comprised doctors from AIIMS-P, Oxford Policy Management, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh and AIIMS-Bhatinda.

Dr Ravi Kant Narayan of AIIMS-P, who led the team, said many untoward incidents were encountered in the past at different places with respect to the last rites of the Covid-19 deceased.

“Though various institutions have issued SOPs for handling the bodies and their wastes, but still a comprehensive approach was missing and that is why the team worked out a step-by-step protocol for ensuring 99% check on the spread of the pandemic at hospitals, ambulances and crematoriums,” Dr Narayan said.

The report strictly warned the medicos and other staff not to smoke, drink or eat and not even touch their eyes, mouth and nose. Autopsy or embalming the bodies is another high risk for the handlers and they must follow the safety measures, the research said.

Another doctor of AIIMS-P in the research team, Dr Ashutosh Kumar, said the vehicle for transportation must be disinfected with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution before carrying the body inside. The research also suggested that body fluids and blood-stained wastes of the deceased are to disinfected first with the same solution and bundled for disposal as biomedical waste.

“The steps suggested in the research up to the final destination, burial site, are of great help for any hospital and the local authorities engaged in treatment of the Covid-19 patients. It minimises further spread of the virus,” Dr Ashutosh added.

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