WB health department issues advisory to assure that cremation can’t spread COVID-19 virus

The West Bengal health department on Thursday issued an advisory to clear misconceptions around cremation of those who died from Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The advisory stated that there’s no chance of COVID-19 virus spreading from the cremation of the bodies as no virus can remain alive in 800°C-1,000°C — the temperatures at which a body is cremated.

The advisory also made it clear that there’s no evidence of COVID-19 transmission from the smoke given out by the electric furnaces during cremation. The main sources of COVID-19 transmission are droplets released through sneezing, coughing or talking, and not through dead bodies, it said.

It stated that if all guidelines for proper transportation and disposal of dead bodies of COVID-19 patients are maintained as outlined by World Health Organization (WHO) or Union Health Ministry, then there are no chances of infection from these dead bodies.

Recently, there have been several incidents in the state in which people living close to the crematorium clashed with the police and family members of deceased COVID-19 patients objecting to the burning of bodies. They claimed that it would result in the spread of COVID-19 in their localities. In some places, even municipal workers refused to help in the cremation process.

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