Bengal Govt Allows Family Members to See Bodies of Covid-19 Patients After Calcutta HC Intervenes

The West Bengal government has said it will henceforth allow family members of a person who died due to COVID-19 to see the body and pay their respects.

Relatives of coronavirus fatalities in the state were not allowed to see the deceased thus far.

"The dead body should be kept at a suitable place for 30 minutes during which the family members shall be allowed to pay their last respects," a state government notification said on Saturday.

"In case of death of a patient, the hospital shall inform the family members within one hour of death. A body cover with transparent face area shall be used," it added.

However, the last rites will be performed by civic authorities.

Family members will be provided masks and gloves by hospitals concerned for seeing the body, the notification said.

The change in the practice is effective immediately, a senior official of the health department said.

The Calcutta High Court had on Friday directed the state government to file a report on allegations that bodies of patients who succumbed to COVID-19 were not cremated or buried in a respectful manner.