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Telangana authorities are dealing with the sensitive issue of last rites. Even as the Covid-19 death toll has risen to 11 in Telangana.

It is learnt that a special committee set up by the State government is preparing a detailed guideline on what cultural and local practices will be permitted and what won’t.

The overall guidelines will be given by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

State officials have clarified that families of the deceased can practise both burial and cremation procedures as laid down by their faith. No restrictions will be enforced.

The MoHFW guidelines also specifically state there is unlikely to be an increased risk of Covid infection from a dead body. “Only the lungs of dead Covid patients, if handled during an autopsy, can be infectious,” says the guideline.

However, the families of the deceased will have to do away with some practices and retain some. It is learnt that officials from Hyderabad district are allowing a congregation of only five persons per deceased for the last rites. “Religious practices like recital of prayers from holy books will be been allowed. Seeing the face is also allowed before burial. We have also allowed the sprinkling of holy “Zam Zam” water from Mecca and sprinkling of sandalwood,” said a district official from Hyderabad.

However, owing to concerns of viral shedding, some practices like giving a bath to the body will not be allowed, specified the official. The body will be disinfected with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution and wrapped in plastic.

It will then be zip-locked in a bag and taken for burial. It is also learnt that the expert committee is also looking into forming teams in hospitals who will be specially equipped to handle the body to the grave/pyre.

Adhere to  Covid-19 burial rules, appeals OwaisiAIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi urged the people of Telangana to adhere to the government’s guidelines to bury those who died of Covid-19.

While enlisting the salient features of the guidelines, Owaisi highlighted that not more than five people should attend the burial. “Losing a loved one is difficult.

But please remember, you owe a larger responsibility to those around you. Do not put them at risk,” said Owaisi. “It is incumbent on all Muslims to ensure that namaz-e-janazah is not a crowded affair. Ideally, two persons  should participate in the tatfeen and offer namaz-e-janazah at the graveyard itself,” he added.
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