Close kin of COVID-19 victims in Kerala can have last glimpse before burial, cremation

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The Kerala government on Saturday announced that it will henceforth allow relatives of deceased COVID-19 patients to have a last glimpse of the person’s face before cremation or burial. Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja said only very close relatives will be allowed to see the deceased patient’s face. "Under no circumstances should there be crowding at the funeral. The last religious rituals should be done without touching the body. Those allowed to see the faces of the dead should not touch them,” added the Health Minister.

She also said that those above the age of 60 or below 10 and those with ailments should come in contact with the body. The new guidelines were issued after requests from various organisations.

All those who attend the funeral of a COVID-19 victim should strictly follow the health guidelines and stay under observation as per the direction of the health department, said Minister Shailaja.

According to reports, the health workers handling the mortal remains of the deceased will make the provision, allowing the limited close kins to view the body.

Kerala on Saturday reported 8,253 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total infection count to 3,73,148, while 25 fatalities pushed the toll to 1,307. The number of patients currently under treatment stands at 97,147.

Out of the new cases today, 7,084 people contracted the virus through contacts, 163 came from outside the state, while the source of infection of 939 patients was not known, Minister KK Shailaja said in a release.

As many as 67 health workers were among those infected, she said. In the last 24 hours, the state tested 67,593 samples. Sixteen regions were added to the list of hotspots and eight were removed, taking the total to 624.

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