A Clinical Professor of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Dr Vijay V. Yeldandi dispelled the myths surrounding the Covid dead bodies.
He was interacting with the Vice Chairman of the State Planning Commission Boinpalli Vinod Kumar here today. Dr Vijay during his interaction expressed his concern over the instances of abandoning the dead bodies of Covid patients for fear of the spread of the virus.
In a letter addressed to the Minister for Health Etela Rajender and Vinod Kumar in this connection, Dr Vijay pointed out: “This is just a myth as it is an extremely irrational fear of contagion leading to social ostracism. It is necessary to reinforce the following scientific facts to combat such irrational fears and undesirable acts, therefore I urge you to facilitate widespread dissemination of the following:”
- Once an individual has recovered from acute illness due to COVID they are no longer contagious regardless of being persistently positive by RTPCR testing.
- In the unfortunate event of demise due to COVID, since respiration has ceased there is no possibility of releasing the virus into the air surrounding the deceased. As long as anyone involved in touching the deceased is using appropriate PPE there is no risk of contagion.
- It is inhumane to deny the deceased proper last rites. In order to reduce the risk of afflicting, the participants in the funeral, we can maintain Social Distancing, limiting participants to 20 numbers, ensure proper ventilation and the use of face masks etc.
We can also avoid spreading the virus by strictly maintaining personal hygiene such as hand cleansing and proper bathing after the funeral.
Dr Vijay further appealed to them to disseminate this message in a campaign mode in the general public at large in order to reduce social stigma.