Srinagar: The Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura on Thursday issued a clarification over alleged denial of coffin and ambulance to a COVID-19 woman, who passed away at the hospital the preceding day.
A video had alleged that the hospital authorities had denied the same to the deceased woman.
But a statement issued by the Medical Superintendent at SKIMS, Dr Farooq Jan clarified that the allegations by the expired woman’s relatives were a result of a delay in the concerned officials in receiving the dead body as per the mandatory protocol in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It said that the dead bodies were dispatched against a proper receipt by the concerned officials from the respective district the record of which is maintained at the hospital control room.
The statement clarified that in order to allay the attendants’ anxiety coupled with the delay in the receiving team, the hospital management offered to provide them an ambulance even though it was not allowed under the ICMR protocol.
“It was then when attendants started demanding coffin and four personnel for carrying out burial, ” added the statement by the SKIMS MS.
He further informed that providing a coffin for a dead body was nowhere in the protocol for handling COVID-19 dead bodies as laid down by ICMR and instead the dead body has to be put in designated bodybag and outer surface of bodybag decontaminated by sodium hypochlorite.
The statement further said that it did away with providing a coffin because it is not a part of protocol “and that it would require more people to handle dead body which is again against protocol” adding that providing people for burial is not mandate of SKIMS.