Doctor dispels fear over cremating body of COVID-19 patient

Hyderabad: A health official, in an effort to dispel the fear of infection during the disposal of a body of a COVID-19 patient, drove a tractor carrying a body to a crematorium in Peddapalli district of Telangana.

A COVID-19 patient died at a state-run hospital on Sunday, the first death at a hospital in the district, and, as an ambulance to take the body for disposal was not immediately available, a tractor was arranged, officials said on Monday.

The municipality drivers and other drivers feared carrying the dead to the crematorium, an official said.

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To allay the fear, District Surveillance Officer in the health department Dr Sriram drove the tractor, wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), to the crematorium.

The district administration provided all the safety and protective gear, including PPE kits, and the body was disinfected.

The relatives of the deceased were made to wear PPE, Sriram said.

“All protective measures were taken. We did everything as per protocol. But, it was a new issue for the driver of the municipal tractor… This (driving the tractor) was done only to reassure him and to show that the administration is in the forefront (in the fight against COVID-19), he told PTI.

He drove the vehicle to demonstrate that the fight against COVID-19 should be continued by taking precautions and that one should not fear, he said.

“In the government administration, it was my responsibility particularly…,” Sriram said.

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