Health Ministry issues detailed guideline for bringing back human remains of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients in country

Health Ministry issued a detailed guideline for bringing back human remains of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients in the country. However, the ministry asserted that importation of human remains of such cases is not recommended.

In cases where human remains of suspected or confirmed COVID patients arrive in the country, validation of cause of death, no-objection certificate from the Indian mission and embalming certificate has to be produced as a required precautionary step.

The guidelines state that the airline and airport Health Officer shall ensure that all preventive measures related to the importation are followed.

The personnel handling the human remains should follow the laid down procedures for donning and doffing of personal protective equipment and follow other protective measures for COVID-19. All the norms for burial of human remains with high risk pathogens are to be followed.

Quarantine of 28 days for the staff handling such importations has also been recommended. Any death on-board during the pandemic shall be considered as a suspected case of COVID-19, and should be attended following recommended standard procedures. Strict adherence to guidelines must be followed at burial grounds and crematoriums.