New Delhi: The last rites of some of the coronavirus infected patients in Delhi were conducted by hospitals following a directive from Home Minister Amit Shah, and with the consent of their families, the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Tuesday.
Mr Shah’s directive comes amid reports that a large number of bodies were kept in hospital morgues due to a host of reasons, including non-availability of confirmed laboratory reports.
The last rites of another 36 coronavirus victims will be carried out on Wednesday as their families were not present in Delhi, the ministry said.
“Following Union Home Minister @AmitShah’s directions, all hospitals in #Delhi (central/state/private) performed the last rites of #COVID19 deceased with consent/presence of their families/relatives,” a home ministry spokesperson tweeted.
Following Union Home Minister @AmitShah‘s directions, all hospitals in #Delhi (Central/state/private) performed the last rites of #COVID19 deceased with consent/presence of their families/relatives.@HMOIndia@PIB_India@airnewsalerts@DDNewslive
— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) June 16, 2020
There will be no delays going forward, the spokesperson said.
However, the total number of victims whose last rites were performed on Tuesday was not immediately known.
The last rites were performed at cremation and burial grounds under supervision of hospitals.
Amit Shah had on Sunday directed that the bodies of suspected COVID-19 victims in Delhi should be treated with precaution and as per Union Health Ministry guidelines and handed over to relatives immediately without waiting for laboratory confirmation.
He has also underlined the country’s resolve in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic with vigour and strength.
Amit Shah on Sunday had also said the central government has decided to issue fresh guidelines regarding the last rites of coronavirus victims, which will reduce the waiting time.
The home minister swung into action to handle the coronavirus situation in the national capital after criticism of the Delhi government’s COVID-19 response with complaints of non-availability of beds in hospitals for patients and difficulty in getting tests done in laboratories.
On Sunday, he held two high-level meetings with the Lt Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, mayors and commissioners of Delhi’s three municipal corporations to strengthen the strategy to fight the pandemic.
The home minister had announced on Sunday that COVID-19 testing will be doubled in Delhi in two days from then, and subsequently increased by three times.
On Monday, Amit Shah paid a surprise visit to the city’s LNJP hosptal to take stock the facilities there and subsequently directed the Delhi Chief Secretary to install CCTV cameras in COVID-19 wards of every designated hospital in the national capital for proper monitoring, and set up alternative canteens for uninterrupted supply of food to the patients.