New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday said importation of human remains of Covid-19 confirmed or suspected patients was not recommended and issued guidelines for the same.

The Ministry said if the human remains of the patients reached an Indian airport, the Airport Health Officer (APHO) would verify the death certificate mentioning the cause of death as Covid-19 (confirmed/suspected), no objection certificate issued by the Indian embassies/high commissions/consulates for transportation of the remains, and embalming certificate by an authorised agency.

According to the advisory, any death onboard during the pandemic, is to be suspected of Covid-19, unless proved otherwise. In this case, the pilot in command of the aircraft will have to mention in the “general declaration” details of any illness or symptoms reported or experienced by the deceased prior to death and submit it to the APHO. Also, all passengers shall disembark before the body is handled inside the aircraft.

“If the remaining flight time is more than 8 hours, the pilot would seek permission to land at the nearest airport,” said the Ministry.

The Ministry said the coffin should not be damaged and should be handled by trained persons wearing full PPE kit. The handlers would be monitored for 28 days and the designated vehicle shall be disinfected as per the norms.

It said the aircraft carrying the body should be disinfected as per the guidelines.

However, it said, the ashes (remaining after cremation) posed no risk and the relatives handling that would be cleared in accordance with the provisions under the Indian Aircraft (Public Health) Rules, 1954.

–IANS

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