Cops earn praise for burying elderly woman who died of COVID-19 in JK

Srinagar, Apr 29 (PTI) The police has earned praise for carrying out the last rites of an elderly COVID-19 positive woman, who died here on Tuesday, as her family members could not be present to bury her amid the countrywide lockdown.  The 80-year-old woman, who was diabetic and hypertensive, was laid to rest at a graveyard in Rainawari area of the city by police personnel as per the World Health Organisation protocol.  The funeral prayers were also performed by the police as the woman's close relatives were placed in administrative quarantine after she had tested positive for the disease.

Social media was abuzz with appreciation for the police officials for going beyond their call of duty to give a dignified burial to the woman.  'Cops beyond the call of duty: SHO of Rainawari burried the deceased lady from Rainawari who died of COVID-19. Her relatives could not turn for funeral but the officer did,' a senior police officer tweeted.  Another Twitter user, Waseem Khan, wrote, 'May Allah reward them all for this noble cause, they're serving the people in all aspects. They really care for the people of J&K'.

However, the inability of the victim's close relatives to bid her goodbye also caused some to express sympathies for her and her kin on social media.

'This pandemic has snatched the very humane touch we all long for. Not being able to say good bye is worse than the death itself, ' Saleem Sofi, a Facebook user,  wrote.  Dr Naveed Nazir Shah, who is heading the COVID-19 hospital at Dalgate, also took to social media to express his views.  'Painfull to see the family members, near n dear ones not able to perform the last rites,' Shah tweeted.  He said the woman neither had a travel history nor was a primary contact of any coronavirus patient.  'This is what  can happen if we  DONT  follow advisories. ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH COMORBIDITIES are most susceptible, ' he warned.  Meanwhile, the Doctors Association of Kashmir has said there is no risk of catching infection from the bodies of persons who die from the novel coronavirus.

'Cadavers do not transmit disease,' said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.

'There is no evidence of a person being infected from exposure to a corpse of a person who died of coronavirus,' he said.

Dr Nisar said the main driver of transmission of COVID-19 is through respiratory droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

'There is no chance of spread of infection from a dead person. The dead person won't cough or sneeze. The virus doesn't survive in the human body after death,' he added.

Dr Nisar said health care workers and family members should be sensitized that dead people cannot spread the novel coronavirus and there is no reason to worry as long as standard precautions are followed.

'For health care workers, mortuary staff and others handling bodies, these standard precautions involve wearing PPE,' he said 'For family members, they involve not touching the body, wearing basic protective gear and not gathering in groups to pray,' he added. PTI MIJ RDM RDM